New Delhi: Injecting a note of levity in his sombre budget presentation, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha Friday during a brief disruption that he had no problem in a "rollback of the speech"!
The speech was interrupted over trouble with the public address system, leading to a mild flutter and some protests, including by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yaswant Sinha. Speaker Meira Kumar assured the members that the Lok Sabha staff were looking into it.
Mukherjee halted his speech, checked his mike and asked the members if he should go over two paragraphs from his speech that he had already read out. An opposition member remarked that the finance minister was "rolling back" his speech.
"Rollback of the speech, no problem," Mukherjee said, smiling broadly, as the house erupted in laughter.
He reverted to his speech by re-reading some of the paragraphs he had already covered.
The reference was, of course, to the rail budget where United Progressive Alliance (UPA) ally Trinamool Congress has asked for a rollback of the hike in passenger tariff.