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It was not an interim Budget but a full fledged Budget: Chidambaram

File photo: P Chidambaram. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 01, 2019, 03.19 PM (IST)

Calling the interim Budget presented by Centre on Friday as "yet another jumla", the Congress hit out at the BJP led government claiming that the Budget was an insult to the farmers.

The Congress post on its Twitter handle said, "After having failed to deliver on any of the promises to farmers, Modi govt insults them once again with yet another jumla !".

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Party President Rahul Gandhi also targetted the Modi government over the Budget.

" Dear NoMo, 5 years of your incompetence and arrogance has destroyed the lives of our farmers. Giving them Rs. 17 a day is an insult to everything they stand and work for, " Gandhi's tweet read.

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Former Union minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram termed the Budget as "an account for votes" adding that the 2019 Budget was accompanied by an election campaign speech.

"The Interim Finance Minister tested our patience by the longest interim Budget speech in the recent memory. It was not an interim Budget, it was a full-fledged Budget accompanied by an election campaign speech.... My one line comment on the Budget is that it is not a vote on account but an account for votes."

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Congress leader Shashi Tharoor questioned the credibility of the income support assured to the farmers under the Budget. He however praised the government's move of providing tax exemption to the middle class.

Tharoor said, " The whole exercise has turned out to be a damp squib. We have seen one good thing that is tax exemption for the middle class. Rs 6000 in income support for farmers boils down to Rs 500 per month. Is that supposed to enable them to live with the honour and dignity?"

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TMC chief Mamata Banerjee said, "This government has no moral authority or responsibility to place the budget for five years when they'll not be in power; the government will go for expiry. After expiry, if you give medicine, is there any value? What will be the value? This is absolutely valueless".

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Speaking to reporters outside Parliament, leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said the promises made by the BJP in this Budget are mere poll sops and "jumlas", which will not be fulfilled as the BJP has a mandate to rule only till May this year.

Further calling it as BJP's election manifesto, he charged the party of bribing to voters.

"This is all being done for elections. I directly charge them of paying bribe to voters.There is politics in everything they do and there is nothing for the poor in this budget...This budget is only an election manifesto that the BJP read in Parliament and it is only for getting votes," Kharge said.

"They are distributing money in elections to please farmers, but the reality is that in the first three months they would give only Rs 2,000 in first instalment," he said.

On the announcement of Income Tax exemption up to Rs 5 lakh to tax-payers, he alleged the BJP parliamentarians are creating a 'tamasha' in Parliament.

"You have a mandate up to May and instead they have presented a full year's Budget and are trying to befool the people of the country, keeping elections in mind.

"Who will fulfil these promises made. If they do not come to power, who will fulfil these promises. The next government will come and only it can deliver".

Karnataka chief minister Kumaraswamy said, "I want to ask if this Budget was prepared by officials of Finance department or RSS? In this Budget, Narendra Modi has given cotton candy for farmers. When I announced loan waiver scheme, PM mocked it as lollipop. Friends of BJP have prepared this budget".

(With inputs from agencies)

Story highlights

The Congress post on its Twitter handle said, 'After having failed to deliver on any of the promises to farmers, Modi govt insults them once again with yet another jumla !'.