Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot went back in time while presenting the budget on Friday in the Assembly.
The chief minister kept reading excerpts of the old budget speech for a few minutes, triggering uproar in the House, which twice led to the adjournment of the Assembly.
The opposition called it a leak of the budget speech and demanded that the budget presentation be rescheduled, while Gehlot said it was a human error.
Gehlot, who was to present the budget at 11 am, started speaking about the present budget proposals but after two pages started reading announcements of his previous budget speech. A person sitting in the officers' gallery pointed this out to chief whip Mahesh Joshi who then stopped the chief minister.
This triggered an uproar in the house. The opposition created a ruckus and stormed into the well of the House, alleging that the budget had been leaked and a new date should be fixed to present the budget.
The House was adjourned for half an hour, following the uproar. The opposition staged a sit-in in the well of the house. The uproar continued even after proceedings resumed.
Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria said that this is a leaking of the budget as a third person had pointed out that the chief minister was reading an old speech. “The budget document is confidential. How did its copy reach anyone other than the chief minsiter?” asked Katria. “Today's incident has put democracy to shame in the state and if you want to respect the House, this budget should be rescheduled.” he said.
Former chief minister Vasundhara Raje said that this is sheer carelessness on the part of the chief minister.
The opposition also demanded an apology from Gehlot.
“The opposition can point out only if there is a difference between what’s written in the budget in my hand and copies given to House members. If a page was added to my budget copy by mistake, how does the matter of leaking of budget arise?” Gehlot asked.
Speaker CP Joshi said that whatever happened is unfortunate but human errors do occur. He apologized on behalf of the government.
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