- Rahul Gandhi derided by BJP ever since he hugged PM Modi
- PM Modi called Mr Gandhi's move "childish antics"
- At a rally in UP, PM Modi also took a shot at the "unwanted hug"
Rahul Gandhi, derided by the ruling BJP ever since he hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in parliament last week, joked at a gathering in Delhi that now BJP leaders "take two steps back" on spotting him.
"...It is very interesting how this works, because now whenever I come across BJP MPs, they take two steps back... we have to be careful he is going to hug us," the Congress president said at the launch of a book on Wednesday, drawing laughter.
Mr Gandhi has been roasted not just by the BJP but also by PM Modi, who had looked startled when the Congress chief walked over to him during the no-confidence debate in parliament on Friday and wrapped him in a sudden hug.
PM Modi, replying to that debate later, attacked the 47-year-old, calling it "childish antics". At a rally in UP, he also took a shot at the "unwanted hug".
Mr Gandhi said he may have a difference of opinion with ruling party leaders and he can fight them, but he doesn't need to hate them.
He referred to senior BJP leader LK Advani, who was also present at the event.
"You can fight someone with all your might, but hate is a choice... And I think that is something that is very important to understand. I may disagree with Mr (L K) Advani, I may have a completely different conception of the country from that of Mr Advani. And I can fight Mr Advani on every single inch, but I don't need to hate him," Mr Gandhi said.
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