All quiet as Pranab presents budget

February 28th, 2011 - 2:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS) The contrast could not have been starker. A packed Lok Sabha listened attentively as Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee presented the budget for 2011-12 Monday, quite different in mood and tenor just three days ago when Mamata Banerjee read out her rail budget to loud protests and a constant din.Mukherjee, presenting his sixth budget, was the picture of calm and poise as he looked down and read out from the papers in front of him. His diminutive frame almost dwarfed by the lectern, but his voice ringing out loud and strong.

The leader of the house barely paused to drink a sip of water during the lengthy speech that started exactly at 11 a.m. There were some moments of levity, however. He invoked the god of rains Indra and the goddess of learning Saraswati right at the outset.

A little later, he said three was his lucky number.

“Honourable members must be wondering why all new projects have been allocated Rs.300 crore. It is because number three is lucky for me,” he said with a smile on his face.

The house, including the opposition, obligingly broke into laughter before lapsing into silence again.

So different from last week when Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee read out her rail budget, shouting to be heard above the near constant din. She hectored and scolded, shouted “Stop it” and “dhyan se suno” (listen attentively) at the MPs.

The uproar that followed when members thought there was undue emphasis on her home state West Bengal led to the budget presentation being interrupted for several minutes.

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