New Delhi: From poems of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Harivansh Rai Bachchan to teachings of Gautam Buddha, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu referred to these all as he presented his second Rail Budget in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Prabhu's wife Uma and son Amaya were in the Visitor's gallery as he outlined his vision for the railway sector by presenting the budget which kept untouched the passenger fares and freight charges.
During over hour-long speech of Prabhu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seen repeatedly thumping the desk along with other members of the Treasury benches in appreciation of the proposals of the budget.
Modi was also seen clapping when Prabhu announced measures to create employment opportunities for "district domiciles" in railway projects and for having toilets in select railway stations for people with disabilities.
Prabhu walked into the House around 11.50 am and started his speech at noon with some of his personal experiences as Railway Minister.
Spelling out his strategy, the Railway Minister said it would rest on three pillars of 'Nav Arjan, Nav Manak and Nav Sanrachna (new revenue, new norm and new structure)'. Before concluding his speech, Prabhu quoted Buddha saying that whenever one contemplates a journey, there are two mistakes one can make: not starting and not going all the way.
"We have already started the journey and I intend to go all the way and we will not rest till we take Bhartiya Rail to a destination called samridhi or success," the Minister said.
Towards the end, many Opposition members, including those from Congress and the Left parties, stood up in protest as they were dissatisfied with the Budget. Some of the agitated members were also heard shouting 'shame shame'.
Soon after the Budget presentation, Modi went up to Prabhu and shook hands with him. SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and BJD member Bijayant Jay Panda, as well as other ministers, were also seen chatting with Prabhu post the budget presentation.