1. Budget 2017: Opposition parties to meet EC today

Budget 2017: Opposition parties to meet EC today

"Opposition parties including TMC, Samajwadi Party, BSP, JDU, RJD to meet Election Commission at 11 am today on budget date being too close to polls," TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brien said.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: January 5, 2017 8:48 AM
Jaitley ion budget, jaitley on dual control, dual control arun jaitley, arun jaitley, arun jaitley “Opposition parties including TMC, Samajwadi Party, BSP, JDU, RJD to meet Election Commission at 11 am today on budget date being too close to polls,” TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien said. (PTI image)

The political slugfest over presentation of Union Budget before assembly elections in five states is set to escalate further with opposition parties including TMC, Samajwadi Party, BSP, JDU, RJD meeting Election Commission this morning to present their views on the issue. “Opposition parties including TMC, Samajwadi Party, BSP, JDU, RJD to meet Election Commission at 11 am today on budget date being too close to polls,” TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien said. Congress today remained unrelenting in its attack on the Narendra Modi government over its plans to present the Union Budget on February 1, three days prior to the start of voting in assembly elections in five states. “It is clear that the government will misuse the budget presentation and try to allure the voters just before polls,” senior party leader Anand Sharma said.

The Election Commission is already examining the representation of various political parties for not allowing the presentation of the Union Budget during the poll process of five states and will take a call on it soon.

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With rivals opposing presentation of Union Budget before polls, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has defended the move and asked why are the opponents afraid of it when they also claim demonetisation is an unpopular decision. “These are the those political parties which say that popularity of demonetisation is very low. So, why they are afraid of the Budget,” Jaitley told reporters yesterday. When asked about the presentation of the Budget in March 2012 after the elections in states, including Uttar Pradesh, he said, “This is not a tradition (for following) everytime.” “Interim budget is presented just before Lok Sabha elections. No one has stopped that. Even in 2014, interim budget was presented some days before the general elections. This is a constitutional necessity.”

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With a view to start spending on welfare and other scheme right from Day 1 of the fiscal year, the government has shed long-standing tradition of presenting the Budget on the last day of February.

Joining the opposition chorus, BJP’s ally Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray also has appealed to President Pranab Mukherjee to not allow presentation of the Union Budget days ahead of elections to five states. The Sena president asked his party MPs to meet the President and request him to postpone the Budget beyond polls.

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The dates for the high-stakes assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur were announced yesterday by the Election Commission. “The Model Code of Conduct will come into immediate effect and will apply on political parties and state governments concerned, besides the Central government in terms of announcements in these states,” Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi told reporters. The voting will start on February 4 and ends on March 8. Counting for all five states will be held on March 11. Now that the Budget session of Parliament is set to begin early on January 31 followed by the presentation of the Union Budget on February 1, questions were raised over a situation that may be construed as a breach of the Model Code of Conduct.

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Notably, in 2012, the UPA government had decided to present the Union Budget for 2012-13 after Assembly elections in these states. “We have not yet decided the time, but naturally the Budget will be presented after the elections,” then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said.

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  1. S
    surya shiva
    Jan 5, 2017 at 3:54 am
    Why not the Elections be postponed to March last week ?
    Reply

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