Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is "so angry" that he is "unable to see the beauty of the world" and that is what made him hug him in parliament, recalling one of the most memorable moments in politics last year during a breezy interaction with students in Chennai.
"I could see that the Prime Minister was very angry and was speaking about me, the Congress party and about how we had done nothing, how filthy we were... (that) my father (Rajiv Gandhi) was a horrible person, my mother (Sonia Gandhi) is a horrible person... He was going on that line," he said, remembering the no-confidence motion debate in parliament in July last year.
"Inside me, I was feeling affection for him. I was feeling affectionate that this man is not able to see the beauty of the world. That he is so angry, he is not able to see the beauty of the world. So, I thought at least (from) my side I should show him affection," he said.
During the debate that saw fierce attacks by both sides in parliament, Rahul Gandhi had left his seat, strode across the floor and wrapped his arms awkwardly around the prime minister, who looked startled. Known for his bear-hugs for world leaders, PM Modi froze in his seat.
As the Congress chief started walking away, the PM recovered and grabbed his sleeve. He was seen saying something into Mr Gandhi's ear and patting him.
Back in his seat, the 48-year-old was seen winking at fellow Congress MPs. This gesture since then has been used by the BJP to argue that the hug was "insincere" and not the spontaneous outreach that the Congress has called it.
Today, Mr Gandhi was interacting with students of Stella Maris College in Chennai where he was asked why he had hugged the Prime Minister.
"The people who don't have affection towards others... the reason (is) because they have not been loved. So, the truth is the Prime Minister unfortunately for whatever reason did not have the type of love that he should have had and that's why he generates this anger. So, I genuinely feel love for the Prime Minister," Mr Gandhi added.