West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a fierce critic of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, today slammed the union budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, saying she could have made it in half an hour. She called it “anti-people”.
“Today’s budget is against the poor people. It’s anti-people. That’s why I condemn this budget. There is no light in this budget, it’s only darkness. It contains lies, bluff. It’s to show people something and misinformation because of upcoming elections,” she said.
Ms Sitharaman today presented her fifth budget, the last full budget of the BJP Government before the 2024 general elections. While the ruling party described it as a foundation for building a developed India, the opposition has called it a budget for elections that lacks vision. Several opposition leaders have slammed the government for not providing anything for their states.
Hitting out at the BJP-led government, Congress said that the budget revealed how far removed the government is from the people and their concerns in life.
“The Finance Minister has not mentioned the words — unemployment, poverty, inequality or equity anywhere in her speech. Mercifully, she has mentioned the word poor twice in her speech,” senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said.
“”No taxes have been reduced, except for the small number who have opted for the new tax regime. There is no reduction in the prices of petrol, diesel, cement, fertilisers etc. Who has benefitted by this budget? Certainly not the poor,” Mr Chidambaram added.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at the Prime Minister, calling the budget “Mitr Kaal” (a play on words, taunting the Finance Minister for calling the budget the first in ‘Amrit Kaal'”.
“‘Mitr Kaal’ Budget has:
NO vision to create Jobs
NO plan to tackle Mehngai
NO intent to stem Inequality
1% richest own 40% wealth, 50% poorest pay 64% of GST, 42% youth are unemployed- yet, PM doesn’t Care!
This Budget proves Govt has NO roadmap to build India’s future,” he tweeted.
Bharat Rashtriya Samithi hit out at the BJP saying the budget was only for the poll bound states, while Telangana has been left out.
“This budget is a mathematical confirmation of failure of the Modi government. This seems like a budget for few states. We hoped tax rebate of up to Rs 10 Lakhs. In Telangana, we pay good salaries to people, so this rebate is of no use to us. Centre announces development projects in either poll-bound states or BJP-governed states. They announced Rs 10,000 crore for infrastructure, which infrastructure? They are not clear. They owe us Rs 1,000 crore, and I request Finance Minister to pay our due,” BRS leader K Kavitha said.
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi accused the government of cheating the middle class.
“New Regime: Tax Exemption upto 7 lakhs but has take away deductions one could claim to minimise tax burden, a middle income person was incentivised to own asset by way of 80c (eg home loan), the government has taken that away. This is cheating the middle class!,” she tweeted.
Ms Chaturvedi also said Maharashtra got nothing from the budget, while Gujarat and poll-bound Karnataka got huge relief in the budget.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia called the budget “nothing but a ‘jumla'” and said it would only immerse the country in debt.
Manish Sisodia, who is also the Finance minister of Delhi, said this budget will add a debt of Rs 15 lakh crore.
“We all know that the BJP has made terms like ‘acche din’ a jumla. The budget by BJP-led Centre is nothing but a jumla. We have heard many such jumlas in the past — like introduction of bullet trains or the promise of doubling farmers’ income or creating 60 lakh jobs,” he said during a press conference.
Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav questioned why there was nothing for Bihar in it.