'Budget a exercise in rhetoric with elections in mind'

'Budget a exercise in rhetoric with elections in mind'

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury. PTI file photo

Terming the Union Budget an "exercise in rhetoric" done with the general elections in mind, the Left parties alleged that the government has made promises which were not its to make.

Hours after Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal gave his maiden Budget speech in Parliament, the CPI(M), in a statement, said it was a testimony to the BJP's "fear and desperation" about what that verdict of the people might be.

"It has sought to use what is an interim budget to make promises that are not for it to make," the party said.

"The Modi government has now become famous for suppressing and manipulating data and offering jumlas to the people. The interim Budget for 2019-20 is yet another exercise in the same vein.

"The acting finance minister made tall claims during his speech about the record of the Modi government and promises of a rosy future for all Indians – which was a cruel joke played on the suffering people of the country," the CPI(M) said.

The Communist Party of India (CPI), in a separate statement, described the budget an "eyewash" as many schemes declared to help farmers and workers in the unorganised sector do not have sufficient budgetary provision.

"Ayushman Bharat, which claims to cover 50 crore people, has only Rs 2,000 crore and many states like Delhi, West Bengal, Odisha have refused to implement the scheme.

"Agricultural workforce have been totally neglected in the budget and it is feared that withdrawal of subsidies on fertilizers and other inputs will increase the cost and hence the sum of Rs 6,000 per year promised is insufficient," it said.

The CPI(M) said the Union Budget for 2019-20 is therefore yet another reflection of the "bankruptcy" of the Narendra Modi-led government.

"No amount of spin can, however, remove the distress that farmers feel or the poverty and joblessness people actually experience. This grim reality will assert itself in the 2019 electoral verdict," the party said.

In a series of tweets, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury alleged that a farmer's family of five being given Rs 3 per day as some largesse makes it evident how "disconnected" the government is from the "rural crisis of its making".

"Promises made today are not worth the paper they are written on. Modi govt came to power in 2014 promising 10 crore new jobs, 100 new smart cities, doubling of farmers income & 15 lakh in each bank account. This is another attempt to fool people before Polls but it won't succeed," he wrote on Twitter.