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RS approves union budget sans debate

A development witnessed perhaps for the first time which triggered protests from opposition members,  Rajya Sabha on Thursday  approved Union Budget 2013-14 without debate. With only one day left for the House to go into month-long recess, the Chair directed members to lay their written speeches so that the crucial money bill could be returned in time. Lok Sabha has already passed this bill.

Earlier, members were informed that they could lay their speeches in the limit of 400 words either on the table of the House. However,opposition members protested against the word limit, which was later relaxed. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, M Venkaiah Naidu took strong exception to the general budget being passed without discussion. ‘Who decided it? It never happened,’  shouted Naidu. Even Samajwadi Party (SP), which supports the government from outside, also backed Naidu with its members arguing that there was no time to write the speeches. The members insisted that finance minister P Chidambaram should go through all the written speeches and respond to the points raised by them. The FM had to then assure them that key points raised by them would be culled out and a reply sent to them.
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