Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government defeated a no-confidence motion in parliament on Thursday after the prime minister’s fiery speech at the climax of the three-day debate.
Opposition legislators – who had come up with a resolution on months of caste violence in Manipur state – walked out of the house, prompting a stern rebuke from the prime minister, after which the government won the vote.
According to broadcasters, the walkout also included Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, who said on Wednesday that the Modi government was “intent on burning the entire country”.
Modi slammed him, saying, “Those who don’t believe in democracy are always ready to comment, but don’t have the patience to listen (rebuttal).”
“They will speak ill and run away, throw litter and run away, spread lies and run away”, he said to applause from his own bench.
“It is his game and the country cannot expect more from him.”
The government rejected the no-confidence motion even before the vote, saying it was a gimmick to garner headlines ahead of next year’s general elections.
Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a large majority in the 543-member lower house, and is widely expected to win a third term in power.
Its strong appeal to India’s Hindu majority has proved a winning formula, and Modi has already steered it to two resounding victories over Gandhi and his Congress party.
Modi said on Thursday, “I can understand the problem of the Congress party.” “They are launching the same failed product over and over again, but the launch fails every time.”