Budget 2019: Nirmala Sitharaman’s debut knock keeps house engrossed

It was also the first time that a finance minister had shunned the traditional briefcase and carried the budget speech and papers in a ‘bahi-khaata’.

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She quoted Chanakya. “Karya purusha karena lakshyam sampadyate,” she said, and then translated it for the members.
New Delhi: The Lok Sabha heard finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s maiden budget speech on Friday without any disruptions, with members applauding her Tamil and Urdu couplets and successful attempts to reiterate some important points in Hindi.

Speaker Om Birla congratulated Sitharaman at the end of her two hour speech for becoming the first full-time woman finance minister to present a budget. It was also the first time that a finance minister had shunned the traditional briefcase and carried the budget speech and papers in a ‘bahi-khaata’ (traditional ledger).

The FM quoted 12th century saint Basaveshwara in a speech marked by the influence of his teachings regarding welfare state. She said the government believes in Basaveshwara’s principles of Kayaka and Dasoha. She referred to Kayakave Kailasa (work is worship) and Dasoha (giving back to society) as the motto of the government.


Sitharaman also recited an Urdu couplet and broke into Hindi a few times but made it clear before doing so that she is not well versed with the language. “Yaqin ho to koi rasta nikalta hai, hawa ki ot bhi lekar chiragh jalta hai (You can find a way if you have conviction, an earthen lamp can light up in the midst of blowing air),” she said, quoting Manzoor Hashmi’s Urdu couplet amid applause.

She also quoted Chanakya. “Karya purusha karena lakshyam sampadyate,” she said, and then translated it for the members — “with determined human efforts, the task will surely be completed”.

Her parents Savitri and Narayanan Sitharaman and daughter Vangmayi Parakala were present in the visitors’ gallery during the presentation.
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Her remark “Naari tu Narayani (woman, you are a goddess)” was applauded by the House, which has an unprecedented 78 women members.

Quoting Swami Vivekanand, she said: “It is not possible for a bird to fly on one wing.” She displayed her stamina when she rendered the speech without a sip of water or any disruption in her flow of thoughts.

Seconds after Sitharaman finished her speech, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi left the House. Rahul Gandhi was seen holding her hand purse that she had left behind. PM Modi led the Union ministers and other members in congratulating Sitharaman after her speech.
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