Rail Budget: Suresh Prabhu refers to poems of Vajpayee, Harivansh Rai Bachchan

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New Delhi, Feb 25: 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 today.

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. [Updates: Suresh Prabhu presents Rail Budget 2016]

Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu presenting the rail budget 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Thursday.

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. [Railway Budget 2016: Highlights]

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 at around 1150 hours and started his speech at 1205 hours 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 of the 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 presentation of the Budget, Modi went up to Prabhu and shook hands with him. Later, a smiling Modi was also seen chatting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and BJD member Bijayant Jay Panda as well as many Ministers were also seen chatting with Prabhu after the budget presentation.

Later, Prabhu was about the leave the House and had reached the door when he remembered that he had forgotten his brown suitcase. He walked back and picked up before exiting finally.

PTI

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