New Delhi: When Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee was taking out goodies from his budget bag, the House was almost empty- from the visitors to VIPs gallery.

However, with his please-all approach, Mukherjee did not allow the Opposition to make fuss and the ruling bench applauded him at regular intervals.

It was a great day for the Parliament but many political big wigs were conspicuous by their absence. RLD chief Ajit Singh was not seen on the occasion while front bencher RJD patriarch Lalu Yadav came late even when the Rail Budget was presented by Mamta Banerjee. 
 
In his one hour and fifty minutes long speech, Pranab Mukherjee received nearly three-dozen rounds of applauds from the ruling party.

The House welcomed him by thumping desk for increasing compensation of Anganwadi workers. The government also appreciated him for increasing the income tax exemption limit by Rs 20,000. Some of the MPs showed their displeasures for not increasing MPLAD fund.  

There was no flashpoint between the ruling and the Opposition as the government had given its nod for the JPC probe on the 2G scam.

JPN/Bureau