Union Budget: After the Supreme Court turned down the plea seeking to hinder Center Government from announcing Union Budget on February 1, the Election Commission has also given a green signal to government to announce budget while directing not to present it for poll-bound states as it can influence the voters in favour of ruling party.
A bench of three justices permitted government to present budget
A bench of Chief Justice JS khehar and Justices NV Ramana and DY Chandrachud said there was nothing wrong if the Union Budget was presented as it might not amount to violation of model code of conduct.
The Elections commission has sent a letter to the Cabinet Secretary late on Monday evening in which it proposed that announcing state-specific schemes or highlighting government’s achievements in respect of five poll-bound states in the Budget speech would disrupt the rivals for not giving the equal chance to succeed.
“The Commission hereby directs that in the interest of free and fair elections and in order to maintain level playing field during elections, no state-specific schemes shall be announced in the national budget which may have the effect of influencing the electors of the five poll-going states in favour of the ruling party. It may be ensured that in the Budget speech, the government’s achievements in respect of the said five states will also not be highlighted in any manner,” stated the EC.
Union Budget: Vote on account should be taken in poll going states, says Election commission
The EC referred to its advisory sent to all states and Union territories on March9, 2009 in which it had pointed out to the protocol of taking a vote-on-account for 3-4 months instead of presenting full budget where a general election is impending or when the process of election has been announced, the model code of conduct is implemented.
“It contributes to healthy democratic practice,” it stated.
While indicating that it would not like to lay down a rule or prescribe a course of action, the EC advised that in the case of states going to assembly elections, a vote-on-account should be taken.