The Congress on Friday dubbed the Interim Budget as the “BJP manifesto”, saying the entire exercise was aimed at wooing voters for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls without providing a report card of the Modi governments performance.
“Today’s budget is BJP’s election manifesto. This is nothing but trying to bribe the voters and the entire exercise was done keeping in mind the upcoming elections,” Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge told the media after Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented the Interim Budget.
“The budget is silent about the performance of the government in the last five years. What achievements they made, how much of their promises were fulfilled — what about the promise of 10 crore jobs in five years or giving Rs 15 lakh each to the people of India,” he asked.
The Congress veteran also questioned the move to present a “full budget” instead of a vote on account.
He demanded to know who would fulfil the new promises the Narendra Modi government was making as its tenure ends in May.
“This should have been a vote on account, their mandate is till May. Instead of that, they presented a budget for the entire year.
“Who will fulfil these promises they have made? This is nothing but misleading the people ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.”
He also refused to give credit to the government proposing tax exemption for individuals with annual incomes of Rs 5 lakh.
“This has been done to woo the middle class ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. And yet it is not a game changer because the people know what this government has done and how it has performed during the last five years.”
Kharge said the budget neglected the poor, especially the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST).
“There is nothing for the poor, farmers and especially for the SCs and STs. They have proposed Rs 60,000 core for MNREGA, which is just Rs 1 crore more than last year.
“The fact is that to pay the dues in this regard to various state governments, the government needs Rs 10,000 crore,” he said.
“They feel they will get the votes through this budget but the farmers and people realise that they have been defrauded.
“They have only listed what they will do in next year but did not inform about what they did in the last five years,” added Kharge.