New Delhi [India], Feb 1 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, whose Budget speech on Saturday was the longest ever, could not read the last few paragraphs of her speech as she felt unwell.
"I think I will lay the rest of the pages. Please consider them as laid," she said to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.
Sitharaman spoke for a record 160 minutes as she presented the Budget for FY2020-21. Her speech was repeatedly applauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and members of the treasury benches.
Towards the end of her speech, BJP leaders, including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, suggested that she could read the speech while sitting or could table it. However, she said only two pages of the speech were left.
As Sitharaman took a pause, Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur came up to her and offered her "sweet" but Sitharaman said she already has a sweet.
The preparation of Budget is a strenuous exercise that requires ministers and officials to work overtime amid hectic parleys and draining discussions.
However, just a few hours after presenting the Budget, the minister also addressed a press conference along with senior officials of her ministry. (ANI)