Railways Minister Lalu Yadav's exoneration in the disproportionate assets case found an echo in the Lok Sabha in the midst of question-answer on the export of mangoes.
Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh was on his feet, answering questions on mango exports when Lalu entered the House to a rousing welcome from the Treasury benches. While some members clapped and thumped the desks, others congratulated him with shouts of "badhai….badhai."
The applause stumped Jairam. "I thought it was for export of mangoes," he remarked on spotting the RJD leader. "Laluji and mangoes are both sweet," interjected Speaker Somnath Chatterjee as the Railways Minister took a front seat with Home Minister Shivraj Patil.
The bonhomie did not last long. On noticing papers listed against certain ministers being tabled by others, Chatterjee remonstrated: "This impression should not be there that anybody can stand up (without the Chair's prior permission)." The remark was directed at Praful Patel, Dasari Narayana Rao and Chandra Sekhar Sahu.