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The NDA government on Friday night sailed through the no-confidence motion against it in the Lok Sabha, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi dubbing it a result of the opposition's "arrogance" and its 'Modi hatao' mindset as he hit back at Rahul Gandhi over "childish" behaviour.
The government got the support of 325 members, while 126 backed the motion with 451 MPs present in the House.
Members of the Shiv Sena, BJD and TRS were not present in the House when the voting took place. Several AIADMK members opposed the motion, in a boost to the NDA.
Replying to an over 10-hour debate on the motion, Modi appealed to all parties to defeat it and accused the Congress president of "crushing" the truth and "playing with national security" by making allegations against him on the Doklam issue and by speaking of graft in the Rafale aircraft deal.
NDA has the confidence of the Lok Sabha and the 125 crore people of India.I thank all the parties that have supported us in the vote today. Our efforts to transform India and fulfil the dreams of our youth continue. Jai Hind! — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 20, 2018
Hours after Gandhi left everyone surprised by walking across to the Prime Minister's chair to hug him, Modi sought to turn the tables on him, saying he appeared to be in a hurry to occupy his seat as he kept asking him to stand up for an embrace.
"What is his hurry to come to power? Let me tell this member, it is the people who elected us. That is how we have come here," he said.
The whole country has watched the game he played with his eyes, Modi said, evoking laughter from treasury benches as he gestured with his hands, apparently referring to Gandhi's wink in the House following his speech.
If Gandhi kept Modi in his line of fire through his speech, it was the turn of the Congress' ruling family when the prime minister spoke.
"The country is not unaware of the history of one family which stoked political instability in the country time and again for its selfish intersts," he said.
Modi said his fate was in the hands of 125 crore people and added that he prayed to lord Shiva, who was invoked by Gandhi in his speech, and the countrymen, that the Congress leader bring a similar no-confidence motion in 2024.