Rail budget 2013:Murmurs of protests broke out in Lok Sabha

Pawan Kumar Bansal

Pawan Kumar Bansal's maiden railway budget appeared to have been shown the red signal by allies and supporting parties if the uproar in the Lok Sabha was an indication.

Bansal's 75-minute speech was initially heard in rapt attention but murmurs of protests broke out as he announced setting up of new rail-based factories.

SP member R K Singh Patel even tore some papers and flung it at the Chair as Bansal read his speech.

The opposition and some allies claimed that the new initiatives have been announced on constituencies of members belonging to Congress.The later part of Bansal's speech was drowned in uproar as members of the SP, BSP, JD(U), Trinamool and some Left parties stormed the Well and shouted anti-Congress slogans.

"It is not rail budget, but Rae Bareli budget," BJP members shouted from their seats in an obvious reference to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. Gandhi was seen making aggressive gestures at the opposition as they protested against the rail budget. Francisco Sardinha, who was in the chair in the post-lunch session, disapproved of the conduct of the members and also reprimanded R K Singh Patel for his action.

Over a dozen members of Rajya Sabha including Bhuvaneshwar Kalita and Mukut Mithi (both Cong), N K Singh and Shivanand Tewari (both JD-U) and Derek O'Brien (TMC) were present in the Rajya Sabha gallery when Bansal was reading out his speech. Present in the Speaker's gallery were members of Bansal's family, including wife Madhu and sons. Rahul Gandhi, the newly appointed Congress Vice President, was seen chatting with Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia as Bansal read out his speech.

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