As India geared up for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's Budget presentation, Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan had a strange task in front of her.
Other than the BJP, almost every political party wanted the budget to be deferred. The MPs wanted Parliament adjourned for a day, and pay respects to political stalwart and President of IUML E Ahamed, who had passed away on Wednesday morning. Ahamed, a seven-time MLA, had collapsed in the Parliament on Tuesday.
After paying homage to E Ahamed, the Speaker told the Parliament, "E Ahamed has left us. I would have adjourned the House, but today's sitting has been fixed by President for presentation of Budget 2017. Instead the House will be adjourned tomorrow as a mark of respect for E Ahamedji."
Senior leader of the Congress, and Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge objected to this and said, "E Ahamed has been part of constitutional duties for 45 years. I met you (Speaker) and requested House be adjourned because Mr. E Ahamed is a senior leader of this House and in Kerala. The Budget can be presented tomorrow."
"He was declared dead when he reached hospital, but it was kept a secret. This is an inhuman act," Kharge said.
The seven-time MP was admitted to Delhi's Ram Manohar Lothian hospital after he collapsed on Tuesday in the Parliament.
However, his immediate family members and colleagues were not allowed to visit him.
Things took a dramatic turn as Congress President Sonia Gandhi and others reached the hospital. Despite Sonia Gandhi's request, the hospital did not relent.
It was only after the Congress President insisted followed by sit in protests by Ahamed's family that they were finally allowed to see him.
My simple request was that I be allowed to see my father and I'm told that I cannot see him. I have not been an explanation. None of us are allowed to go in. I've been told that everybody has been allowed to see him all morning without any problem, so I think as a son, I have the right to see my father and get an explanation as to what is going on," Ahamed's son told ANI.
"We are appalled at the way in which the family has been treated. I am not speaking as the son of a Member of Parliament. I am speaking as the son of an Indian," he added.