"Is this the concern the house is showing for the farmers?" an irate Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chaterjee was moved to remark when the opposition interrupted Finance Minister P Chidambaram as he announced a loan waiver for farmers while presenting his union budget on Friday.
Urging maturity on the part of MPs, Chaterjee said: "This cannot be allowed. This is not responsible behaviour."
Pulling up one of the MPs, he said: "Professor ho ke aisa kam karte ho (Being a professor, why are you behaving like this?"
"Only the minister's speech will be recorded. Nothing else will go on record," Chaterjee said in exasperation as the hullabaloo continued.
At one time, an exasperated speaker shook his head and exclaimed "Kya baat hai, Kya baat hai (What are you up to?) and then said: "We're in the parliament of India, discussing the country's budget".
The opposition, which had shouted slogans before Chidambaram began his speech, delaying it by a few minutes beyond its scheduled 11 am, had sat quiet for the next 50 minutes before the minister touched on the debt waiver scheme, saying that all loans granted till March 31, 2007, and overdue as on December 31, 2007, would be written off.