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P Chidambaram adds muscle to his budget

Tuesday, 18 February 2014 - 6:00am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Finance minister P Chidambaram came "prepared" to present the interim budget in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Apart from his papers, he had three "bouncers" with him just in case things went out of control because of anti-Telangana MPs. Given the fraught situation in Parliament over the Telangana issue and the unseemly scenes with one MP using a pepper spray and another allegedly bringing a knife into the house, Chidambaram clearly did jot want to take any chances.

Before heading for Parliament | the finance minister, it is learnt, phoned three well-built Congress MPs from Tamil Nadu and asked them to form a protective ring around him while he presented the budget.

The "bouncer" MPs — JM Aaroon Rashid from Theni, KS Alagiri from Cuddalore and Vishwanathan Perumal from Kancheepuram —stood around Chidambaram during his hour-long speech that was heard in relative silence.

The three did not allow HRD minister MM Pallam Raju to step into the well of the house. Raju, who represents Kakinada, too, didn't appear keen to confront them and was seen standing in the aisle along with Jhansi Lakshmi, another Congress MP from Andhra Pradesh.

Chidambaram's "bouncer tactic" seemed to have worked. Last week, Kamal Nath tried to save home minister Sushilkumar Shinde in a similar way by positioning various MPs around him while he introduced the Telangana Bill. But his plans failed as anti-Telangana MPs created a ruckus and one of them sprayed pepper from a can.

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