Oppn’s demand to defer budget “anti-people”: Centre

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: Opposition leaders come out of the Election Commission of India office, New Delhi , Dec 5, 2016. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: Opposition leaders come out of the Election Commission of India office, New Delhi , Dec 5, 2016.
Photo – PTI

Day after the Opposition parties approached the Election Commission seeking rescheduling of the Budget after the assembly polls, the central government has stressed that the budget is not a mere state-specific exercise. The Centre also termed Opposition’s move as “anti-people”.

“No budget means no development, no welfare. Is this what you want? And no support to poor people, no support to farmers, is that what your wish is? Why are you opposing? Budget is budget,” Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said.

The Opposition contingent, led by the Congress and including the TMC, SP, BSP and others, yesterday met with the Chief Election Commissioner demanding that the presentation of the Union Budget slated to be held on February 1, be deferred till March 8, in the view of elections in five states.

They contend that the sops could be announced by the government in its annual budget, which may influence the voters.

The opposition have also emphasised that the Congress-led UPA government in 2012 had deferred the Union Budget to March 16 when the same five states — Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur — went to polls.

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Rejecting the Opposition’s contention, Naidu said the budget would not be state specific.

“The budget will be about the people, their future, what are the taxation proposals, what is the revenue model…It will be presented before the Parliament, that is for the country, it will not be state specific,” he said.

Taking a further dig at the Opposition, the Union Information and Broadcasting minister said, “they are afraid that all their efforts at disinformation against the Modi government have failed,” adding that there is strong support for the government’s move across the poll-bound states.

“They have realised, you have seen survey after survey,” he said referring to recent surveys conducted by the TV news channels giving edge to the BJP.

“Now they have changed their agenda again and are trying to now stop the budget which is an anti-people move again, which will again boomerang on them,” the minister added.