The CPI-M today termed as “peculiar” the Election Commission’s decision to allow presentation of the Union budget on February 1, wondering how the proposals in it would exclude the five poll-bound states.
“EC’s order on advancing the budget is not acceptable. It is peculiar because how can budget proposals exclude five states when the government decides to raise exemption limit of income tax for instance or announce agri loan waivers for small farmers?” CPI(M) secretary Sitaram Yechury told reporters here.
The EC had yesterday gave its nod to the Centre to present the Union Budget 2017 on February 1 ahead of the Assembly elections, but said no schemes related to these poll-bound states could be announced.
Arguing that under similar circumstances the then central government in 2012 had postponed the presentation of Union Budget in view of state elections, Yechury said, “This could have been done this time too. We are sure, the general budget will influence the voters.”
Asked about the Left parties’ agenda for the ensuing Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Punjab and Goa, Yechury said, they would put up Left combine candidates.
Expressing concern over frequent train accidents, he said there had been five major train mishaps within a gap of six months.
“As many as 1.4 lakh posts remained vacant in the department of rail safety. After Kanpur train accidents, we thought the ministry will address the problem. But that has not happened,” he said.
The veteran leader suggested to the ministry not to be pre-occupied with bullet trains and speed trains, rather it should focus on the fundamentals.
“We apprehend that there will be further reduction in the outlay for railway budget in the mixed budget this time. The operating ratio of railways is still negative,” Yechury said adding that his party would raise the issue in Parliament.