New Delhi, July 5 : Kept out of power for second consecutive term, the Congress party on Friday sought to unleash a virtual technological war with the ruling BJP - which often takes pride in highlighting 'swadeshi' spirit.
Shortly after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that she deliberately opted for a red potli to carry the budget papers into the chambers of the Lok Sabha as she wanted to do away with the 'British hangover', senior Congress leader P Chidambaram shot back at a media conference saying, "take it from me, our Congress Finance Minister will in future bring an iPad". Ms Sitharaman, not only became the first full-fledged woman Finance Minister to present Union Budget 2019-20 in Parliament on Friday, but she also broke the tradition of carrying the budget papers in a briefcase.
At her first post-Budget press conference, Ms Sitharaman fielding a question said, "It is very Indian… It is easy to carry. And it is high time to overcome the British hangover”. In her Budget speech, Ms Sitharaman, a fellow Tamil leader like Mr Chidambaram, also underlined the importance of tax collection and referred to use of words of 'wisdom' in a line from Purananooru, a Tamil Sangam Era work by Pisirandaiyaar.
She said, "... a few mounds of rice from paddy that is harvested from a small piece of land would suffice for an elephant. But what if the elephant itself enters the field and starts eating? What it eats would be far lesser than what it would trample over". Ms Sitharaman, an alumnus of Delhi's prestigious JNU, on Friday wrote herself to history by becoming the first woman Finance Minister and also the sixth one from Tamil Nadu.
Late Shanmukham Chetty was the first Finance Minister from Tamil Nadu, who presented the country's first Budget after Independence. Mr Chidambaram has been the fifth from the Southern state who presented his first Budget in 1996. Former President R. Venkataraman was also among the distinguished Finance Ministers from Tamil Nadu, who served under Late Indira Gandhi and presented his Budget in early 1980s. (UNI)