Election Commission Seeks Centre’s Response to Opposition’s Budget Delay Plea

Chief Election Commissioner, Nasim Zaidi

Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: The Election Commission has sought a response from the government to the opposition’s demand to postpone the Budget session until after March 8 – the final date of polling in Uttar Pradesh.

According to Deccan Chronicle, the commission has written a letter to cabinet secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha asking him to respond to the plea by January 10.

The commission aims to obtain the views and reasons behind the Centre’s move of rescheduling the Budget session and, therefore, the Budget presentation, to February 1, before taking a decision on the matter, Indian Express reported.

This development, according to the New Indian Express, comes just a day after a delegation of opposition party members – led by Congress’s Ghulam Nabi Azad – met the election commissioners Nasim Zaidi, O.P. Rawat and A.K. Joti.

On Thursday, the opposition had put forth the demand to postpone the Budget presentation until after polling ends in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. Opposition parties claim that the session would give the BJP an unfair advantage in the elections.

According to Indian Express, the intervention of President Pranab Mukherjee has also been sought on the issue.

The Budget session of the parliament is set to begin on February 1. The session is being advanced from the typical last day of the month because the Centre is aiming for early allocation of funds for various schemes from April 1, the beginning of the financial year.