Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to defer presentation of the Union Budget till the completion of poll process in five states. The government is slated to present its annual budget this year on February 1, moving away from the earlier tradition of announcing budget in the last week of February.
The issue of advancing annual budget had earlier reached Election Commission and even the Supreme Court. While both have cleared the decks for budget presentation, the EC added some riders.
In his letter to the prime minister, Akhilesh cited the Election Commission directive on January 23 asking the Central government not to announce any specific scheme for the five states going to polls in keeping with the model code of conduct.
The chief minister said that this may deprive Uttar Pradesh, having the maximum population in the country, of special schemes in the Union Budget which would have a direct impact on state’s development and interest of 20 crore people.
Akhilesh Yadav also cited the precedence of February-March 2012, when the then Congress-led UPA government had taken a decision to defer the budget till the completion of the poll process at that time.
“In my capacity as the representative of the people of the state I request you think about deferring the Budget till after the elections so that the development of the state and schemes in the interests of the people could be announced,” he added.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court had rejected the PIL seeking postponement of budget, saying it there is nothing to show that budgets will impact the polls or violate the model code of conduct, as contended by the petitioner.
Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur will be held between February 4 and March 8. Uttar Pradesh will poll in seven-phases and the results of all five states will be announced on March 11.
(With inputs from the PTI)