New Delhi, Feb 25: It may have been serious business that Mamata Banerjee was conducting but her trademark oratory skills, punctuated by couplets and angry outbursts, provided enough spice to the presentation of the Railway Budget in the Lok Sabha today.
The Railway Minister joked, broke into poetry and even lost her cool during her 90-minute budget speech.
"Dhyan se suno (listen carefully)... sab hai isme (everything is there in the budget)," she kept telling members who wanted to know the proposals for their respective states.
As some members persisted with enquiries and comments, the agitated Minister lost her temper a number of times.
"What is this?" she repeated several time. Intermittently, she would tell the members, "Don't shout, don't shout."
At one point, she commented angrily, "I cannot satisfy everybody".
Banerjee, who is aspiring to be the next Chief Minister of poll-bound West Bengal, however, defended the attention she was paying to her state through railway schemes.
Irritated by the repeated interruptions, she even sat down at one point of time, refusing to continue the budget speech. She turned to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who was seated next to her, apparently conveying her unhappiness.
This was when members from Bihar, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh wanted to know what schemes she had for their states and alleged that she was showing favour to her native West Bengal.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal and his former deputy V Narayansamy then walked to the opposition benches and tried to pacify the JD(U) members, some of whom had rushed to the well of the House.
Banerjee was also asked by JD(U) members from Bihar about the status of projects announced last year.
"This is not a press conference," the Minister said, showing her exasperation.
Providing some lighter moments, Banerjee read couplets like, "Hum aah bhi bharte hai to ho jaate hai badnaam, who katl bhi karte hai to charcha nahi hoti (Even a sigh from me invites a bad name while even if they commit a murder it is not discussed)."
The Railway Minister also quoted lines of a patriotic song 'Aye mere watan ke logon' from film 'Haqeeqat' sung by Lata Mangeshkar. PTI