BJP wants bar on announcing sops ahead of bypolls

BJP wants bar on announcing sops ahead of bypolls

The state BJP on Friday petitioned the Chief Election Officer, Karnataka, to issue directions to the state government not to announce any new schemes in the state budget in the wake of the byelections.

A delegation led by BJP state spokesperson Suresh Kumar told CEO, Karnataka, Anil Kumar Jha, that the Election Commission of India has announced dates for the byelections to Nanjangud and Gundlupet Assembly constituencies. The elections will be held on April 9 and the model code of conduct has come into effect.

However, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who also holds the finance portfolio, is scheduled to present the state budget on March 15.

The petition stated that the BJP is of the view that announcement of any populist schemes in the budget is likely to influence the voters of the two constituencies. To ensure that the elections are fought on a level-playing field and in a fair atmosphere, the state government should be barred from announcing populist schemes in the budget, the petition states.

Siddaramaiah countered the BJP’s charges saying, “The BJP at the Centre presented the Union budget at a time when the process of conducting Assembly elections to five states was on. The model code of conduct was in place then too.”