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Centre handing out doles for votes: Oppn in Budget debate

Source: PTI
February 08, 2019 23:02 IST
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The Opposition on Friday accused the government of bringing a populist budget aimed at garnering votes in Lok Sabha polls due this summer.

Initiating the debate in Lok Sabha on the Interim Budget amid protests by the Congress on the Rafale issue, Biju Janata Dal leader Tathagata Satpathy alleged that the government was 'completely following misdeeds and modus operandi' of the previous Congress government.

Taking a dig at the government, he said the underlying message of the budget appeared to be 'tum mujhe vote do, main tumhe paise dunga' (You give me vote, I will give you money), a reference to doles announced by the government for different classes.


Everything this government has done has been aimed at the super rich, Satpathy charged.

In an apparent jibe at Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, who was present in the House, he said a number of senior Cabinet ministers in the government are from the Rajya Sabha while those from the Lok Sabha have been ignored.

Lok Sabha members are 'rooted in ground issues', he said, adding during the United Progressive Alliance's reign the country was ruled by a prime minister from the Rajya Sabha.

The then prime minister Manmohan Singh was a member of the Upper House.

M Veerapa Moily (Congress) was to initiate the debate but in his absence Satpathy was asked to start it.

As Kalraj Mishra, who was the presiding officer, allowed a discussion, protesting Congress members intensified their slogan-shouting, objecting to the debate when the House was not in order.

One member was seen tearing papers and throwing them at the Speaker's table, and Mallikarjun Kharge of the Congress said, "It is not good. The House is not in order."

To this, Mishra said the House will be in order if the protesting members go to their seats.

Congress members Gaurav Gogoi, Rajeev Satav, Sushmita Dev and others trooped into the Well shouting slogans demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale deal.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan reprimanded Gogoi after he walked up to Sathpathy's seat with a placard and started raising slogans as the BJD member's microphone was on and the camera usually focuses on the person who is making the speech.

The Congress later staged a walkout.

"This is very irresponsible behaviour. This is wrong and should not happen. We are proving that we are killing democracy," the Speaker said, disapproving of Gogoi's behaviour.

Anurag Singh Thakur (Bharatiya Janata Party) said the Budget was for an aspirational class and will benefit 12 crore farmers, 30 crores labourers and 3.5 crore middle class.

"It is a 'pro-poor' budget and will strengthen the middle class," Thakur said.

He also said the cumulative sum of various government schemes comes close to Rs 15 lakh.

"Which means that the government has paid every person Rs 15 lakh as promised during the last elections," Thakur opined.

He also said the Modi government has done more for the Indian Army than any other governments in the past.

Dushyant Chautala (Indian National Lok Dal) claimed that unemployment is rising in the country and private companies like Ola and Uber are exploiting their employees.

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