Union budget bone of contention

The presentation of union budget prior to assembly election in five states has become major bone of contention. Opposition parties on Thursday approached the Election Commission seeking the deferment of the Union Budget’s presentation in view of polls in five states. Led by the Congress, representatives from several opposition parties reached the poll panel to raise their objections over the budget scheduled to be presented on February 1, just days ahead of the polls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur scheduled between February 4 and March 8. The Opposition contends that holding the Budget before the Assembly polls will allow the Bharatiya Janata Party to woo voters through various schemes.
NDA Government is not in favour of postponing the budget. Supreme Court has refused to give an urgent hearing to a plea seeking postponement of the Union Budget to March. Though it looks more like a political fight, the opposition’s concern may be valid. If finance minister announces some sop for farmers during budget it has potential to impact election in states like Punjab and UP which has large farming community. Election Commission will have to seriously look into the matter, so that fairness prevails. Also this is not for the first time that budget has been postponed for an assembly election. The Congress-led UPA government had presented the 2007 and 2012 polls after the state election results were out.

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