The Didi-Lalu joust in Lok Sabha

February 25th, 2011 - 4:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) It was waiting to happen - Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee and her predecessor Lalu Prasad spewing anger at each other during the presentation of the railway budget Friday. When Didi, as the railway minister is popular known, announced some projects for the poll-bound West Bengal, her home state, Lalu Prasad was immediately on his feet objecting to the benefits to the Left-ruled state.

Some other MPs, including Janata Dal-United chief Sharad Yadav, joined the Bihar politician in taking potshots at Banerjee.

Known for losing her cool at the slightest provocation, the Trinamool Congress chief shouted the MPs down asking them to raise their queries during the debate over the railway budget.

“This is not a press conference,” she said, refusing to answer queries raised by opposition MPs in the middle of her fiery speech.

When she mentioned some projects in Patna and Gaya, Banerjee pointedly told Lalu Prasad that these cities were in Bihar.

“Is not Patna in Bihar?” she asked angrily, sipping from a glass of water during her long multilingual budget speech thick with Bengali accent.

The war of words between Lalu Prasad and Banerjee was waiting to happen as the latter has been her bitter critic since she took over the railways ministry from him in 2009.

Lalu Prasad was not the only one to be subjected to Banerjee’s ire. The stentorian minister paused often to shout “Stop it” to the restive MPs and even told them, “dhyan se suno” (listen attentively).

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