Opposition dubs budget as poll ‘lollipop’

Opposition dubs budget as poll ‘lollipop’
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First Published: Mon, Feb 16 2009. 03 05 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Feb 16 2009. 03 05 PM IST
New Delhi: The opposition parties on Monday dubbed the interim budget as election budget, offering “poll lollipops” and alleged that the exercise has failed to address serious issues the people face.
It also went to the extent of terming the government’s calculations on fiscal deficit as “Satyam’s balance sheet.”
Describing the budget a “poll lollipop” senior CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta accused finance minister Pranab Mukherjee of “making his first election speech” in parliament.
“Our finance minister has in fact made the first election speech in Parliament without announcing the names of the candidates and spelling out the dates. After seeing Lalu Prasad’s lollipop, we have today seen Pranabji’s lollipop. The budget is simply a poll lollipop,” Dasgupta said.
It’s an election budget without any realistic fundamentals of economy,“ Dasgupta said accusing the government of not recognising basic human problems of the country.
BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, “Government calculations on fiscal deficit is wide off the mark.. It is like Satyam’s balance sheet.”
Accusing the government of “living in denial mood” and “indulging in self congratulation”, the BJP leader said it is a poll budget.
“We are living in a period of grave world-wide economic crisis, but the government did not try to address issues of unemployment,” Jaitley alleged.
Party colleague Vinay Katiyar said government’s concerns for farmers are “fake” as they did not benefit either from the previous budget or this one.
CPI-M politburo member Brinda Karat termed the interim budget as “election manifesto”.
“UPA finishes its last budget as an election manifesto. Though the impact of recession on the economy is very clear, the budget did not address the issue... it was not even mentioned in the budget,” Karat said. She also alleged that the government’s stimulus package had no impact on the recession.
“The government is saying that godowns are filled, but the fact remains that people’s kitchens have scarcity. There has been a massive shortfall in the foodgrain distribution to states,” she added.
Finding “nothing new” in the budget, CPI leader D Raja accused the government of “hoodwinking the aam janata.”
“The whole attempt of the government was to present a rosy picture of the economy and to hoodwink the common men... the aam janata... real issues were not touched upon,” Raja said.
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First Published: Mon, Feb 16 2009. 03 05 PM IST
More Topics: Interim Budget 2009 | Opposition | Reaction | UPA | BJP |