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Indian Papers Make Rare Retreat from Budget Hype

Indian newspapers that usually deploy their best Photoshoppers to create weird and wonderful images to accompany their budget coverage were remarkably restrained Thursday, bar one exception.

In previous years, newspapers have competed to place Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in usual places and positions. In one Economic Times graphic last year, the pair were in a souped-up autorickshaw and in a Times of India graphic, they were riding a tortoise.

The Economic Times continued its tradition of bombastic graphics Thursday. The paper went with a military theme, variously showing Mr. Modi and Mr. Jaitley aiming assault-style rifles , Prime Minister Modi wearing a helmet and peeking out of a dugout and a risqué image of him wearing little more than a helmet and leather jacket.

In other newspapers this year, things were a little more measured. The Hindustan Times cut Mr. Modi’s face with Mr. Jaitley’s next to the headline “Safe Budget Hikes Rural, Infra Spend.” The budget focused on perks for farmers and boosting growth by spending on infrastructure.

The Times of India created a montage with Mr. Modi as Sherlock Holmes and Mr. Jaitley as Watson with the headline: “Wooing the Have-Nots, Hitting the Have-Notes,” a reference to their war on cash.

Businessline showed Mr. Modi wearing a mask of Mr. Jaitley’s face, saying: “Jaitley’s face, Modi’s voice.”

The Business Standard kept it serious with an illustration of Mr. Jaitley and the headline: “Jaitley Stays the Course.”

(via WSJ)