Amid all the serious discussions in the Lok Sabha regarding the No-Confidence debate, it was Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi's surprise gesture that caught widespread attention. Soon after ending his speech during the sesson, which was basically a series of scathing attacks on the ruling BJP, he went to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hugged him. Like PM Modi, the entire country was also stunned watching Rahul Gandhi’s out of the box move. The warm gesture did not end here, PM Modi called him back and shook hand with his political rival.
The drama did not end there- a few minutes after the act, Rahul Gandhi was seen winking in the Parliament. Jokes and memes with hashtags 'pappukijhappi' and 'hugplomacy' stormed the social media, including Twitter.
Many remembered "Munnabhai", the character from the eponymous Bollywood film who hugged his opponents in a bid to win them over and prove the relevance of Gandhian values.
"Pappu becomes Munna Bhai!" Sitanshu Shukla said.
@narendramodi gets a taste of his own hugs from @RahulGandhi! And that too minutes after @HarsimratBadal_ said that Parliament is not for "Munna Bhai's puppy- jhappis," another Twitter user said.
Given Modi's visible surprise, one user brought up the issue of consent and called it the "most forced hug" of all time.
Modi, who initially looked nonplussed and did not stand up to hug him, recovered quickly and called Gandhi back and patted him on the back.
Gandhi later appeared to be winking, a picture which went viral with Twitter users drawing a parallel between the Congress president and Malayalam actor Priya Prakash Varrier who became an internet sensation with her wink from a film song, "Manikya Malaraya Poovi".
"Rahul Gandhi's Priya Varrier moment after 'The Hug' #ModiTrustVote," Vipin Vijayan tweeted.
Another Twitter user, Harsh Singhavi said, "Pappu is learning from priya"
Pappu is learning from Priya!! pic.twitter.com/nLaLpO1kFW— Harsh Sanghavi (@sanghaviharsh) July 20, 2018
"Move out Priya Warrier you have got a tough Competition in Rahul Gandhi!! On a serious note this is what Pappu and Congress has reduced Parliament to. Cheap antics ,Fake Jhapis, Sly winks," added another tweet.
Move out Priya Warrier you have got a tough Competition in Rahul Gandhi!!— Naina 🇮🇳 (@NaIna0806) July 20, 2018
On a serious note this is what Pappu and Congress has reduced Parliament too
Cheap antics ,Fake Jhapis, Sly winks
Pappu once again reaffirmed he is crude, immature ,with no class #NoConfidenceMotion pic.twitter.com/sWOAlizDXC
Some Twitter users were too critical of the act calling it 'immature'.
Twitteratis also stormed in to Twitter with the hashtag 'hugplomacy' to take a dig at Rahul Gandhi.
Pappu accuses PM Modi of “HUGPLOMACY” politics but goes ahead & gives him #JaaduKiJhappi— Archie (@archu243) July 20, 2018
After SANJU, Raju Hirani set to make PAPPU, a biopic on RahulGandhi after he was impressed by his Full on Nautanki#BhukampAaneWalaHai #NoConfidenceMotion
For the first time, I saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has unleashed Indian hugplomacy since 2014, get startled by a hug. #RahulGandhi— Manimugdha Sharma (@quizzicalguy) July 20, 2018
Former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister, Tejashwi Yadav also took to his Twitter handle and praised political ally Rahul Gandhi on his move. He congratulated the party for highlighting the lies of the ruling government in the parliament.
Earlier in the day, in his speech, Rahul Gandhi said that Modi, the BJP and the RSS had taught him the meaning of being a member of the Congress party, an Indian and a Hindu.
"Being an Indian and being a Congressman means no matter what falsehood someone speaks against you, you do not harbour ill-will against them. For this, I thank you,” Gandhi said.
He concluded his speech by saying, "You can call me things, You can call me Pappu, but I do not have any hate for you”.