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Indian budget dates too close to polls? Election Commission wants government reply

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on the issue also sought a direction to strip the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party?of its lotus election symbol for alleged violation of the model code of conduct. Photograph: (Getty)

DNA New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 07, 2017, 06.53 AM (IST)

India's Election Commission has sought the cabinet secretary's reply on the opposition's plea to postpone budget presentation date, as per normal procedure, ECI sources told ANI.

On Thursday, a united opposition had lodged a complaint with the Election Commission on the date for the annual budget being too close to the assembly polls.

The budget session of the Parliament, which will begin from February 1, is being advanced as the government wants early allocation of funds for various schemes from April 1, the beginning of the next financial year.

On Friday, the Supreme Court refused an urgent hearing on a plea seeking postponement of presentation of Union Budget due to assembly elections in five states. "There is no urgency in it. We will lay down the law when this petition comes up," a bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar said.

Advocate ML Sharma, who filed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on the issue, mentioned it and sought an urgent hearing. The PIL has also sought a direction to strip the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of its lotus election symbol for alleged violation of the model code of conduct which came into effect after the declaration of assembly polls in five states.

The Election Commission on Wednesday announced seven-phase polling for 403 assembly constituencies in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, two-phase polling in Manipur and one-phase polling each in the states of Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa respectively. Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said that the counting of votes in all the five states will take place on March 11.

(This report first appeared in DNA)

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