'Don't stop Delhi budget': Kejriwal writes to PM Modi amid squabble between AAP, BJP

Presentation of Delhi government's Budget for 2023-24, which was scheduled for today, has been put on hold with the AAP and central government trading charges over allocations under various heads.

Published: 21st March 2023 11:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st March 2023 12:22 PM   |  A+A-

A collage of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi used for representative purposes only. (File Photo | PTI)


NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday requesting him to "not stop Delhi's budget", amid a row between the Centre and the AAP dispensation in the national capital over the issue.

The presentation of the Delhi government's Budget for 2023-24, which was scheduled for Tuesday, has been put on hold with the Kejriwal dispensation and the central government trading charges over allocations under various heads.

"This is the first in the last 75 years that a state's budget has been stalled. Why are you upset with Delhiites? Please don't stall Delhi's budget. With folded hands, Delhiites urge you to pass their budget," the chief minister said in the letter.

Speaking at a News18 programme on Monday, Kejriwal charged that the Centre was resorting to "gundagardi" and said it was the first time in the country's history that the budget of a government was put on hold.

A video clip of his speech was tweeted by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Taking to Twitter, the chief minister also shared a news report on the increase in per capita income in Delhi, and said, "Delhi is doing exceedingly well, despite all obstacles being created on daily basis. Imagine if such obstacles were not created and all govts worked together for the welfare of the people. Then Delhi would grow multiple times faster."

Sources in the city government said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has stopped the budget and it will not be tabled in the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday.

As the chief minister lashed out at the Centre, sources in the MHA said the ministry has sought clarification from the AAP government as its budget proposal had a high allocation for advertisement and relatively low funding for infrastructure and other development initiatives.

'Kejriwal levelling allegations to hide own mistakes'

The BJP in Delhi slammed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday, accusing him of creating a row over the city government's budget for "cheap publicity" and to hide his own mistakes.

Virendra Sachdeva, working president of the Delhi BJP,  said Kejriwal was levelling allegations on the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to divert attention from the corruption charges faced by the city government. "The Kejriwal government sat on the clarifications sought by the Ministry of Home Affairs for three days and then blamed the Centre for stopping the budget," Sachdeva said.

'Centre conspired to stall Budget'

Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday alleged that the Centre conspired to stall Delhi's budget, and said it was undemocratic that officials of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs were dictating the budget expenditure for the national capital.

Addressing a press conference here, AAP national spokesperson and Delhi minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said it was utterly "shameful" that the budget has been stopped. "This is making a joke of us in front of the entire world. It is shameful that the Centre is stopping the budget of a small state," he said.

Bharadwaj said the MHA expressed some concerns on the Delhi government's budget and refused to grant its approval in a letter sent to the chief secretary on March 17. "He sat on it for three days. This is bigger than any anti-national activity. This should be investigated. The Centre is behind this conspiracy and the budget is being delayed at its behest," he alleged.

The senior AAP leader said the budget is a sacrosanct document and a secret exercise. "How can a 'babu' sitting at the Centre question the expenditure of the government," he asked.


India Matters


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  • Binay

    Modi is angry with Kejriwal because Modi lost so many elections against Kejriwal. First the 2015 Delhi election when Modi's plan of delaying election until a star candidate in Kiran Bedi was not found and then his aggresive campaign as if it was a prestige case for him
    2 months ago reply
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