Piyush Goyal presented a full budget: Chidambaram

Piyush Goyal presented a full budget: Chidambaram

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram. PTI file photo

The Congress on Friday alleged that the government presented a full-fledged budget instead of an interim one, and said it was not a vote on account, but an "account for votes".

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, addressing a press conference after the government presented the interim budget, said Finance Minister Piyush Goyal tested patience by giving the "longest" interim budget speech in recent memory.

"My one-line comment on the budget is that it was not a Vote on Account but an Account for Votes," the former finance minister said.

"It was not an interim budget. It was a full-fledged Budget accompanied by an election campaign speech. By doing so, the government has trampled on time-honoured conventions," he said.

Chidambaram said a government confident of returning to power would have respected the conventions.

"It is crystal clear that the government has no hope of returning to power and has, therefore, acted desperately and recklessly, and in violation of the Constitution," he said.

The big takeaway is that the present government has further weakened fiscal stability and for the second year in succession the government has missed the fiscal deficit target, he said.

All of the announcements are "last-gasp announcements" by a government whose term will effectively end in about 90 days, Chidambaram said.