Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's record-breaking budget speech on Saturday - the clock touched at two hours, 41 minutes when ill health forced her to stop - saw over 11 lakh tweets recorded between January 30 and February, with the hashtag #UnionBudget2020 among those most used by Twitter users to comment on the speech and its contents. The Economic Survey of India - released on January 31 by KV Subramanian, the Chief Economic Advisor - also dominated online conversations.
Twitter users who posted on the budget included both members of the ruling BJP and those from the opposition, which included Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and his caustic tweet about a "hollow" budget that had failed to tackle unemployment levels - "the main issue facing the county".
Mr Gandhi's tweet drew a sharp retort from Union Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani, who emerged a giant-killer from last year's Lok Sabha election after unseating him from his family stronghold of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
Responses to Ms Sitharaman's speech included humorous jabs at political leaders, including Mr Gandhi, to hilarious tweets about people unable to understand the jargon.
The budget, which many criticised for failing to do enough to kick-start an economy in slowdown, left the stock markets underwhelmed; the Sensex and Nifty indexes dropped nearly 1,000 points after the speech.
Ms Sitharaman, 60, delivered a mammoth budget speech that included references to Kashmiri and Tamil poetry. However, with two pages to go, she faltered and had to be offered sugar and water.
The highlight of the speech was the announcement of enhanced income tax rebate for the middle-income group. The Finance Minister announced new income tax rates for individuals opting to forego exemptions, a move that will bring down the income tax outgo of those earning Rs 15 lakh a year by Rs 78,000 to Rs 1,97,000.
"We are delighted that, with the help of our news partners, we were able to bring the Union Budget 2020 speech and analysis to Indians across the country, enabling their questions and comments to be an integral part of the conversation in real-time," Amrita Tripathi, News Partnerships, Twitter India, was quoted by news agency IANS
"The magnitude of Twitter conversations around represent the voice of the citizens of India, who want to be updated, aware, and actively involved in discussing topics of national relevance," Ms Tripathi added.
With input from IANS