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Hindustantimes.com, Hindustantimes.com
New Delhi, February 28, 2013
Finance minister P Chidambaram promised Parliament on Thursday he will keep his budget speech "simple, straight forward and reasonably short". Social media liked him for that but the verdict on his budget was mixed and critical.

Around 9,902,613 people had read about Chidambaram and his budget on Internet posts till 7pm, according to SAP Social Media Analytics, a tool to track the world wide web. Chidambaram was mentioned in 3,382 internet posts.

As soon as Chidambaram started speaking at 11am in Lok Sabha, he started 'trending' on Twitter.

Tweets with hashtags #chidambaram, #budget2013, #crorepatis (millionaires) and #cigarettes complained or poked fun at his proposals.

Chidambaram's decision to raise taxes on cigarettes, smartphones and the "super-rich" got the wits on Twitter to vent out their anger.

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"Don't eat out. Don't smoke. Don't use smartphones. It's almost like FM stands for father-mother," tweeted @TheNaique.

"Let's give 2min silence for all guys who are addicted 2 cigarettes and have GF who prefer eating in AC restaurants and shop foreign brands," tweeted @Chintan369.

Chidambaram's proposal to set up a bank exclusively for women was greeted with cynicism.

"Wonderful. We can't stop rapes, crimes against women. But we want to open a bank for women. As if women can't use normal banks!" tweeted @PritishNandy.

Nandy's comment was shared over 900 times, making it one of the most popular tweets on the budget. 

"Chidambaram has a sense of humour--after failing at Islamic banking, started women banking!" tweeted another person.

Chidambaram's statement that his decision to "tax" the super-rich a bit more would affect only around 42,800 people in the country was greeted with delight and some cynicism.

"Happy because I will not be taxed more; sad since I am not among the 42,800 official crorepatis," said @bikashleo.


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One angry commentator argued that "Delhi, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore...these mega cities have at least 5 lakh crorepatis."

Commentators on Twitter seemed to have expected more from Chidambaram. "Too much theatrics, too much talk, too much gloss, too much glitz. Too little content, too little value! Budget just like #Chidambaram," said one person.

"Chidambaram is like Rohit Sharma. Lots of potential but hardly has delivered, still finds a place in team India," said @vivekashenoy.

The finance minister got some praise though.

Data from SAP Social Media Analytics shows that Chidambaram when spoke about "inclusive development", Rs. 50,000 crore tax free bond and promised to keep his speech "short", his Twitter popularity increased.

As @cadrsunilgupta noted: "the finance minister has done a commendable job in containing the deficit while simultaneously addressing growth imperatives."