Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman beat her own record of delivering the longest budget speech ever on February 1st, 2020. There were a total of 13,275 words in her speech.
Her speech lasted around 2 hours 43 minutes as compared to 2019. Sitharaman’s budget speech lasted 2 hours 15 minutes in 2019.
The Union Minister presented her second Budget on February 1st, 2020. Towards the end of her address to the Lok Sabha, she appeared to be too tired to read out the final two pages of her budget speech.
Her blood pressure reportedly fell and she was advised to sit. Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh prompted her to end her speech but she tried to finish it saying, ‘there are only two pages are left’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also nodded her to wrap up her speech.
But as she was finding it difficult to continue, Sitharaman then told the Speaker, “Sir, I think I will lay the rest of the pages, sir,” to which Singh flashed a thumbs-up sign.
The Finance Minister started her Budget speech by reciting a poem in Kashmiri and its Hindi translation in Lok Sabha. The poem by Pandit Dinanath Koul referred to Shalimar Bagh, and Dal Lake in Kashmir.
The Hindi translation of the pooem read: “Humara watan khilte hue Shalimar bagh jaise, humara watan Dal lake mein khilte hue kamal jaisa, nau jawanon ke garam khoon jaisa, mera watan tera watan, humara watan, duniya ka sabse pyara watan.“
She also he quoted the legendary Tamil poets Thiruvalluvar and Avvaiyar. She recited the Thirukkural to explain the ‘5 Jewels of a good country’ to justify how India possesses it all.
She quoted a line from the Aathichoodi while presenting the government’s measures to boost the agricultural sector and farmers’ income. Sitharaman quoted the line, Bhoomi thiruthi unn which literally translates to that one must “first tend to till one’s land and then eat”. One must eat only after work.
Photo credit: @airnewsalerts