Opposition calls Budget a 'BJP manifesto', 'final jumla'
By  IANS | Updated:  Feb 02, 2019, 09:28 AM
Opposition parties on Friday panned the Modi governments final Budget, saying the entire exercise was made eying the Lok Sabha elections and claimed it failed to address the acute agrarian and employment crises.
If the Congress called the interim budget an "account for votes", the Trinamool Congress said it was "BJP's manifesto" for the Lok Sabha polls and questioned the Modi government's fiscal prudence.
Leading the charge Congress President Rahul Gandhi called the scheme to provide direct income support of Rs 6,000 each to poor farmers as the "biggest insult".
When Rs 3.5 lakh crore of loans to a handful industrialists have been waived, an income Rs 17 per day to our debt ridden farmers is nothing but an insult. There can no bigger insult than that
"Giving Rs 17 per day to our debt-ridden farmers is nothing but an insult. There can be no bigger insult," said Gandhi after participating in a meeting of 21 Opposition parties where agrarian crisis and unemployment were the core issues discussed.
Flaying the Modi government over the agrarian crisis and alarming unemployment, Gandhi also said they will be major issues ion the Lok Sabha polls.
Congress veteran and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said "It was not a Vote on Account but an Account for Votes."
He pointed the big takeaway of the budget was the present government had "further weakened fiscal stability" and said the exercise points to the government's "incompetent fiscal management and a disdain for fiscal prudence".
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee described the Budget as a "farce" and a "BJP manifesto".
"The Budget proposals will be not implemented... New government will present the Budget. This government's expiry date will be over in one month. What will they implement in one month?"
"There is no future of the Interim Budget ahead of the elections," Banerjee told the media in Kolkata.
"It is obvious that economic emergency is going on in our country. Our apprehension is where the money will come from," she added.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) ridiculed the budget as another 'jumla' (fake promise) and questioned the government move to present Budget for the entire year.
"This cannot be the final budget for this year because the government presenting it, and the Lok Sabha considering it, will both cease to exist less than two months into the financial year to which the budget pertains," it said.
CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said "Promises made today are not worth the paper they are written on".
"Modi government came to power in 2014 promising 10 crore new jobs, 100 new smart cities, doubling of farmers income and Rs 15 lakh in each bank account. This is another attempt to fool people before polls but it won't succeed," he added.
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party head Arvind Kejriwal called it the "final jumla of Modi government".
Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav billed the interim budget as "everything but true".
"The budgetary provisions are a bundle of lies," he said and blamed the Modi government for the "highest unemployment rate in 45 years".
"The youth will take revenge on the false promises and joblessness in the Lok Sabha elections," added Yadav.
Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha also attacked the Budget.
"It is a cash-for-votes budget. It is illegal for a candidate to do it, but when the government does, it is perfectly valid. I hope the people of India will not be fooled by these last-minute gimmicks," he tweeted.
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