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Rediff.com  » News » Sonia rapt, Rahul restless during Budget speech

Sonia rapt, Rahul restless during Budget speech

February 28, 2013 15:47 IST

The country's most powerful mother and son presented a study in contrast in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

Twenty minutes before Finance Minister P Chidambaram presented the Union Budget, Congress President Sonia Gandhi was already in her seat, her bag on the floor beside her.

Sonia Gandhi heard the finance minister with rapt attention. When she approved of something Chidambaram said, she would thump her desk assertively.

She showed no emotion when the finance minister mentioned her or Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Whenever Chidambaram mentioned special provisions for women, Sonia Gandhi looked more than pleased. It was clear that these measures had her approval.

Her son, in contrast, arrived in the Lok Sabha almost 10 minutes after Chidambaram rose to present the Budget to the House.

The Congress vice-president sat in his usual place -- a corner seat on one of the back benches.

During the finance minister's speech the man the Congress party wants to be prime minister appeared restless. His eyes were shut many times.

At around 11.50 am, Rahul Gandhi left the House even as Chidambaram was still speaking.

He returned to his seat 10 minutes later.

The mother clearly took the presentation of the Budget process seriously; the heir apparent, it seems, had other distractions.

Union Budget, as it unfolded on February 28

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A Correspondent in New Delhi