Not an election Budget, so no early Lok Sabha polls: SP, BJP

While the non-UPA parties are taking turns to slam the Union Budget, Finance Minister P Chidambaram's proposals have definitely taken the wind out of their sails, dashing their hopes for an early General Elections. The first acknowledgement of this was made on Thursday by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

"They are not going to hold early polls," was Mulayam's crisp response to queries on chances of early elections. "They cannot dare to go to polls early with the kind of Budget they have come up with," he added in jest.

This admission by Mulayam, who extends outside support to the UPA, holds significance in wake of the fact that he recently created a flutter by claiming that elections might happen in September.

Even the BJP's hopes appeared to be dashed given the preoccupation of a section of the party to get a clarity on their prime ministerial candidate. BJP sources said that many in the party apprehended that the government may come out with a populist Budget.

No wonder, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj referred to the Budget proposals to dismiss suggestions of early elections. "This is absolutely not an election Budget," she reacted tersely to a query whether it was a poll Budget and elections may be held early. "Elections will happen on time," she added.

The BJP, SP and BSP described the Budget as "dull" and "anti-poor". While Swaraj described it as "dull and unimaginative", Jaitley said that it was high on "verbose in content but low in substance". Party leader Yashwant Sinha said the Union Budget was a "jugglery" of numbers and claimed that the proposals may fuel inflation.

"It is anti-farmer, anti-worker, anti-poor; it is meant only for top 10 per cent of population. We will opposed it," said Mulayam. BSP chief Mayawati said the Budget was drafted to "confuse". "There is nothing new, nothing for farmers, employees, middle class," she added.

Chidambaram, on his part, suggested that he was keen to make things move on crucial financial legislations that will require cooperation from the Opposition. He walked across the aisle soon after finishing his speech to greet BJP's L K Advani, Swaraj and Rajnath Singh. He went a step ahead to keep his bitter critic Sinha in good humour in his speech itself. "I intend to work with the Standing Committee and its Chairman (Sinha) in order to finalise official amendments (in Direct Tax Code)," he said.

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