MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena today was all praise for Congress chief Rahul Gandhi after his speech in the Lok Sabha during a debate on the no-confidence motion, saying he had now "graduated from the real school of politics".
The Shiv Sena which is a partner of the BJP in the Maharashtra government had decided to abstain from the no-trust vote in Parliament.
"The Congress chief has now graduated from the real school of politics," party leader Sanjay Raut said, after the Sena decided to abstain from the no-trust vote in the House.
Raut said Gandhi's hug to the prime minister at the end of his speech was actually a shock for Narendra Modi.
"This wasn't a hug, but a shock to Modi," Raut said, adding that there would be more "tremors" like today for the BJP.
Capping a power-packed speech in which he attacked the government on multiple issues, from farmer distress to the Rafale jet deal, Gandhi strode across the Lok Sabha to hug a surprised Modi to the amazement of the House members and millions who watched the debate live on TV.
The party's praise of Gandhi came after its apparent flip-flop on issuing a whip to its MPs asking them to be present in the Lok Sabha during the opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion and vote for the government.
The NDA ally today said there was a "mistake" in issuing the whip.
"There was a mistake. No such whip could be issued by the chief whip when a decision (on no-trust motion) was not even taken then," a Sena source told PTI.
Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire, the party's chief whip in the House, in a three-line whip issued on the letterhead of the party on July 18 had asked the party lawmakers to support the NDA government during the no-trust motion.