Budget debate: Maurya says CM planned it with an eye on LS polls

Leader of Opposition Swami Prasad Maurya on Tuesday termed the annual budget for 2013-14 as "a populist one", meant to attract people with allurements in view of the next Lok Sabha elections.

Initiating the debate on the budget in the Assembly, Maurya said: "The budget size is enormous while the difference between receipts and expenditure is rising. The government has lost track of the Samajwadi ideology. An attempt has been made to lure people with allurements with an eye on the elections." Free motorised rickshaws, free laptops, free tablets and other items will be distributed as the Lok Sabha elections draw closer, Maurya said. He also targeted the SP government over the "poor law and order'' situation, citing the recent murder of a youth in Etawah and the violence and arson in Noida during the Bharat bandh last week.

"Even Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav knows that law and order has worsened under his government. Let him put a hand on his heart and give a frank answer. I'm sure the reply will be ...Yes," Maurya claimed.

By contrast, no communal riots took place "during our government". The state was peaceful even when the High Court gave its judgement on Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute, Maurya added.

He said the budget was a meaningless exercise when funds from the previous budget had not been utilised.

"When we took charge in 2007, the growth rate of the state was 5.2 per cent and in 2012 when we left it was 8.4 per cent. The ruling party's charge that the economy was in a bad shape during our regime is baseless," he stated.

Maurya also had a piece of advice for the Chief Minister he should remain cautious of the 'uncles' in his party.

The Bharatiya Janata Party's Satish Mahana stated that the budget lacked any vision to speed up the development process. Also, the government was not able to maintain law and order, he said. His party colleague Suresh Khanna raised the issue of the reported move to revoke the cases of the accused in the serial blast cases, saying that this would be a stigma on the government.

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