Monday, February 16, 2009

Veerendrakumar stable; takes ill during budget presentation

New Delhi: An otherwise uneventful interim budget presentation by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today saw the Lok Sabha MPs on their feet when JD(S) member from Kerala M P Veerendra Kumar complained of uneasiness.

Fifty minutes into the budget presentation, Kumar suffered from breathlessness, prompting Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to stop the proceedings.

Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury, who was one of the first members to rush to Kumar's aid, was heard telling others, 'Move back. Let him breathe.'
Kumar was provided water and doctors were called in.

He decided to walk out instead of using the foldable stretcher which was brought in. Chatterjee made a rare gesture of walking down from his seat to enquire if he was fine.

The House was adjourned for ten minutes. While the Speaker went out to ensure Kumar was taken to hospital immediately, others chatted among themselves. Mukherjee took this opportunity to have a chocolate to energise himself, much to the amusement of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who enquired what he was upto.

Renuka later briefed Sonia about Kumar. Chatterjee returned and informed the House that Kumar was out of danger. The presentation was more or less event-less with most members yawning. A couple of them even had their forty winks while others kept walking in and out.

Though the Treasury Benches were nearly full, attendance in the Opposition Benches was thin.

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