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Jaitley presents Budget amid protests by Congress


New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday started his budget speech amid protests from Congress members who were demanding adjournment of the proceedings for the day due to the death of sitting member E. Ahamed.

As soon as the House met for the day, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan led the house in paying tributes to Ahamed who died early on Wednesday morning following cardiac arrest. The House observed a two-minute silence to pay respects to Ahamed.

Mahajan said that presentation of Budget was a constitutional obligation and President Pranab Mukherjee had specifically fixed Feb 1 as the day for Budget presentation.

She said the House would be adjourned on Thursday as a mark of respect to Ahamed.

Congress member Mallikarjun Kharge, however, urged her to adjourn the House for the day and said Ahamed was a senior leader.

"E. Ahamed was a Member of Parliament and he was on duty; he collapsed during the joint session of the Parliament. He was taken to hospital and he was declared dead in hospital," the Congress leader said.

The Speaker said that she had already explained the position and asked Jaitley to go ahead with presentation of the Budget.

As Jaitley started speaking, the Congress members protested.

Ahamed, 78, was an Indian Union Muslim League leader elected to the house from Mallapuram. He was Minister of State for External Affairs in the UPA government.

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