"After Gowda ended his speech and the Lok Sabha was adjourned, some BJP members approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi to greet him."
New Delhi, July 8 - Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, who Tuesday announced a bullet train in his maiden budget, read his speech at a fast pace which prompted a member to urge him to slow down.

Don't read so fast, Saugata Roy of Trinamool Congress quipped as the minister read out one paragraph after the other without a break.

Gowda responded by saying that the members seemed to like his speech.

I think you are all pleased by my budget, he said.

Gowda quoted from Kautilya's Arthashastra in his over hour-long speech with his new initiatives drawing cheers from the treasury benches.

Trinamool in the forefront

The most vocal opposition to the rail budget came from the Trinamool Congress members who kept interrupting Gowda's speech.

Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had held the coveted portfolio during the UPA government.

Party member Kalyan Banerjee made several interjections but Gowda continued to read his speech.

Towards the end of Gowda's speech, a Trinamool Congress member said West Bengal had been totally deprived.

Soon after, Kalyan Banerjee signalled party members to come near the speaker's podium and they started raising slogans.

Members of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party also protested against the budget.

The NDA members got up in their seats to express their support for the budget.

Sonia Gandhi miffed

Congress president Sonia Gandhi expressed her disapproval at Gowda giving credit for rail projects in Jammu and Kashmir to the National Democratic Alliance governments.

Rail projects in the state had made progress during the Congress-led rule. Gandhi shook her head in disapproval as Gowda spoke only about the role of the BJP-led governments.

--

Gowda's wife in the audience

The Rajya Sabha gallery of the Lok Sabha was almost full during the presentation of the rail budget and among those present was Trinamool Congress leader Derek O' Brien who had a diary in his hand apparently to take down notes.

Officials said that among those present in the visitors' gallery was Gowda's wife.

Trinamool Congress member and former railways minister Dinesh Trivedi was among those who intently listened to Gowda's speech.

Lonely Advani!

After Gowda ended his speech and the Lok Sabha was adjourned, some BJP members approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi to greet him.

Some of them also came to Gowda to congratulate him. L.K. Advani, who was also in the front row, kept sitting in his seat for a while as BJP members milled around Modi and later Gowda.


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