‘Kaaji? Hawaa nikal gayaa na? Ab chalo’

Sankarshan Thakur on a budget that’s more than a budget in The Telegraph, Calcutta:

“What P. Chidambaram took two breezy hours spelling out to the Lok Sabha, he could have said with a single word: elections….

“There was joyous drum roll lifting off the UPA ranks, the BJP squirmed in indignant silence. It was all too apparent that the finance minister was gleefully undercutting them in the vote stakes, but they couldn’t even cry foul…

“What was the BJP to rail against, though? The extension of minimum employment guarantee? Concessions to farmers? The hike in tax slabs? Today was a day the Opposition knew better than to oppose; that would be the surest way to be damned by constituencies across the country….

“It was railway minister Lalu Prasad who probably caught the Opposition’s post-budget temper most aptly today. As the House rose, the UPA barrel-chested, the BJP slouched, Lalu Prasad lingered in the first row, trying to locate adversaries to rib across the Lok Sabha well. He pulled a mock-glum face and ran his fingers slowly and elaborately down his eyes, as if to say, time for you to start weeping, mates. “Kaaji,” he dared no one in particular in the fast emptying BJP benches. “Hawa nikal naa gaya, ab chalo (so, has the wind been knocked out of you now? Let’s go).”

Read the full article: Two hours to spell out a word: poll

Cartoon: courtesy Surendra/ The Hindu