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ECI seeks Cabinet Secretary's reply to respond to Opposition's Budget delay demand

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has written to Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha, seeking Centre’s stand on the Opposition’s plea to postpone the Budget presentation to a day after March 8, the last date of polling in Uttar Pradesh.

As per the ECI sources, this has been done by the Election Commission as per normal procedure. This move from the ECI comes just a day after a delegation of the opposition parties met all three Election Commissioners, Naseem Zaidi, OP Rawat and AK Joti.

On Thursday the opposition demanded the date for budget presentation be shifted till after the elections get over.

The Congress, Trinamool Congress (TMC) and others said they were not in favour of February 1 as the start of the budget session.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the negation has been put forward as it would lead to biased elections, which are against the constitution and democracy, adding further that they have no problem with any date post elections. “If the government wants, it can call session from 31. But, only the budget should be presented post March 8, as it is the last date of elections. It can choose any date after March 8 as it can announce it any day before March 31,” he said.

TMC leader Derek O’Brien resonated the same saying the Centre can present the budget after March 8, once the elections get over. “It is about 15-16 opposition parties together. There is a simple solution – the government has enough time to present the budget after March 8. It can get it passed before March 31. That is the fair way of doing,” he said.