The nearly 100-minute presentation of the National Democratic Alliance government’s final Budget on Friday intermittently witnessed noisy protests from opposition members and a spirited reaction from Treasury benches regularly thumping their desks.
Presenting his first Budget, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal faced protests even before he began his speech as some Congress members shouted that the Budget has already been “leaked”.
They also sought to raise concerns over reports about the unemployment rate. At times, some Left members too were seen protesting at their seats.
Opposition parties, including the Congress and the Left, alleged that proposals of the interim budget were leaked to the media even before the document was presented in the House.
Some members held placards of news reports about unemployment figures.
Telugu Desam Party members raised slogans demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh.
When Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, in his budget speech, said the government aims to double the income of farmers, opposition members jeered.
Members from the Treasury benches thumped desks to drown the protests by the opposition.
During the presentation, Congress member Rajiv Satav walked up to Goyal and placed a sheet of paper, probably an article about unemployment rate, on his desk. He also kept a sheet of paper at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s desk.
Populist announcements, including some income tax exemption for the salaried class and direct cash transfer to farmers, elicited loud cheers from ruling members who chanted ‘Modi Modi’.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi was seen leaving the House during the Budget presentation. This prompted Bharatiya Janata Party members to launch an attack on him, saying ‘Rahul baba bhag gaye’.
The Congress president returned to his seat after some time.
Rajesh Ranjan, an independent MP from Bihar, stood in the Well of the House with a few sheets of papers in his hands.
After the presentation, Goyal turned towards Modi with folded hands. Soon after, a smiling Modi walked up to Goyal and patted him on his back.
Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former Jammu-Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, were among those not present in the House.