Union budget: Nirmala recites once again from Thirukural; Stalin reminds her of another one on kings

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Delhi/Chennai, Feb 1 (PTI) For the second year in a row, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday recited a couplet from the Tamil classic Thirukkural during her budget speech, on the characteristics of a ruler who creates wealth.

Last year too, she had recited from the popular classic, penned by saint poet Thiruvalluvar.

Thirukkural is considered the gold standard of various principles of life by the Tamil people.

However, ruling BJP's bitter critic in Tamil Nadu, DMK chief M K Stalin took a dig at Sitharaman and said she had failed to take into account a different 'kural' that defines a king, including the need for compassion.

In her 110-minute long speech, the union minister quoted the Tamil kural 'iyatralum eettalun kathalum katha vaguthalum valla arasu,' and went onto explain what it meant.

'A king or a ruler is one who creates or acquires wealth, protects and distributes it for common good,' Sitharaman, who read out her budget speech from a tablet, said.

Last year too, she had read out a couplet from Thirukkural that says the five aspects-- good health, wealth, increased produce, happiness and safety are key for a country and went on to say that key NDA initiatives, including Ayushman Bharat scheme were five jewels of the country.

However, DMK President Stalin, who was critical of the union budget, saying it offered an 'illusionary lollipop' to the poll-bound Tamil Nadu, pointed out to her about another couplet from the classic that defines a ruler.

'It is regrettable she did not consider the kural which says delivering (to people) what is required for a good life, being compassionate, giving a just rule and safeguarding citizens brings more laurels to a government,' he said, referring to the kural 'kodayali sengol kudi ombal nangum udaiyanam ventharku oli.' PTI SA APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR