Union Power Minister RK Singh has responded to a video doing rounds on social media showing him making what the netizens have described as 'weird eye movements' in Parliament during the Budget speech of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday.
RK Singh has said that he was merely doing 'eye exercises' as was advised to him for improved blood circulation. The video shows Singh sitting behind Finance Minister Sitharaman and making strange eye movements while she delivered the longest ever budget speech on February 1. At first, he was seen stroking his eyebrows, but as matters escalated, he was caught on camera right behind the Finance Minister moving his eyes left-right, then up-down, then round in circles, all in quick succession, in what people online adjudged to be an effort to stay awake.
Responding to a Twitter user who captioned the video as "When you are in class only for attendance", the minister wrote he has been advised eye exercise every two hours "to improve the circulation of blood to the eyes."
I have been advised eye exercises every two hours to improve the circulation of blood to the eyes. Any objection anyone?— R. K. Singh (@RajKSinghIndia) February 2, 2020
Another one! 😝 pic.twitter.com/0UT7fjYyrl— L̶o̶n̶e̶ Crusader 2.0 🇮🇳 (@seriousfunnyguy) February 3, 2020
Singh tweeted the same response to another Twitter user, who had captioned the video as "How to keep yourself awake when listening to boring long speech."
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman bettered her own record of delivering the longest budget speech on Saturday. Her speech lasted around 2 hours 43 minutes. In 2019, her budget speech lasted 2 hours 15 minutes. There were a total of 13,128 words in her speech. Nirmala Sitharaman was clearly looking exhausted by the end of her budget speech. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh prompted her to end her speech but she tried to finish it saying, "only two pages are left".
As she resumed, she looked out of breath and now prompted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well to cut short her speech. Sitharaman laid the rest of the speech on the table of the house. Before Nirmala Sitharaman, it was another BJP Finance Minister Jaswant Singh who held the record for the longest speech. In 2003, Jaswant Singh spoke for 2 hours and 13 minutes to present the Union Budget.
(with ANI inputs)