Congress decries bid for full-fledged budget

New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday decried the Modi government’s attempt to present a full-fledged union budget on February 1 in the election year as an electoral opportunism, saying it would be against the electoral mandate. Its spokesman Manish Tewari said the government elected for five years has already presented five budgets since 2014 and it does not have mandate or legitimacy to present the sixth budget.

Asking the government to take only a vote-on-account for four months from Parliament, he said the government that is going to be in office for only 56 days from April 1 can not present a budget for 365 days of the next financial year.

Tewari pointed out that the vote-on-account is to cater to the contingency between the presentation and passage of the budget while a short budget session beginning on January 31 cannot complete the process of the standing committees scrutinising the ministry-wise budget proposals and then Parliament pass the Finance bill.

“In the dying days of this government, knowing fully well that it is on its way out, the Congress strongly demands that the NDA government follow constitutional propriety and present only a vote-on-account on February 1,” he said. He warned that any attempt to present a full-fledged budget will be strongly opposed both on the floor of Parliament and outside.

In reply to a question on the Election Commission emphatically declaring to hold the Lok Sabha elections only through the electronic voting machines (EVMs), Tewari said the issue is not whether the EVMs can be manipulated or not, but a general perception among the people is that the EVMs can be rigged.

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