The Congress party on Tuesday launched a ‘free hug’ campaign in central Delhi’s Connaught Place. The move comes days after Congress president Rahul Gandhi gave a hug to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the discussion on the no-confidence motion moved by the Telugu Desam party in Lok Sabha of Parliament on July 20, 2018. Workers of the grand old party carried placards and posters that said, ‘Érase Hatred’, ‘Say no to Hate’ and ‘Save the country’. The party supporters were also seen hugging common people who were present on the site to witness the campaign.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Aniruddha Sharma, a Congress worker, said that the aim of the campaign is to spread the message of love. “Our aim is to spread the message – ‘remove hatred, save the country’. A hug is a way of spreading the love. But we also tell people that the idea of India lies in the fact that people from different religions should respect each other’s faith and live in harmony. We are taking his (Rahul Gandhi) message forward,” said Sharma.
The party is also planning to take the campaign forward by holding gatherings at metro stations, public places etc.
On Friday (July 20, 2018), after attacking the NDA government over a host of issues, the Congress president had surprised everyone by giving a hug to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha. However, minutes later Gandhi subjected himself to a barrage of attacks from the Treasury benches as he was caught on camera winking at a party MP in the Lower House of Parliament.
While several parties including NDA ally Shiv Sena lauded Gandhi’s gesture to offer the PM a hug, BJP cam e down hard on him for what it termed as drama and childish behaviour. On Saturday, the Mumbai unit of the Congress party put up posters of Rahul Gandhi giving a hug to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Mocking the Congress president, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that Rahul Gandhi can see nothing except Prime Minister’s chair. Replying to this, the Congress president said in a tweet that he would tackle PM’s hatred with love and compassion