Athawale's jibe at Congress and Rahul leaves MPs in splits
A witty Union Minister Ramdas Athawale prevailed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Athawale lived up to his reputation of being subtle in his political satire, not disappointing the MPs while delivering a welcome speech on the election of Om Birla as the Lok Sabha Speaker.
Athawale greeted Congress President Rahul Gandhi on his 49th birthday, but simultaneously took a sharp jibe at his electoral loss from the family bastion of Amethi.
"I stopped on this side (BJP), as I could sense the political direction of the wind. Though the Congress had asked me to cross over before the elections, you were calling me to your side, but I could interpret which way the wind was blowing," Athawale said taking a dig at the Congress.
The MPs were in splits following his political remarks, especially the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who broke into fits of laughter.
Taking a dig at Rahul, the Chief of Republican Party of India said: "Victory and loss are a part of electoral process. Rahul ji, you have this chair in Parliament; I congratulate you on this."
Athawale, however, referred to Rahul Gandhi as his good friend.
Rahul was handed a shocking defeat by Union Minister Smriti Irani in Amethi, though the Congress chief got a huge mandate from the second seat he contested from Wayanad, Kerala.
Athawale urged the Opposition to respect the mandate of the people and support the government in passing important bills.
Concluding his speech, Athawale said PM Modi would continue to do good work and would not allow the Congress to regain power for at least 15 years. "Now, our government will run for five years, and for another five years, and five years again. We will continue our job of doing good work for the people. Modi ji will continue the good work, and we will not let you (the opposition) come to the other side so easily," he added. IANS