“Modiji, mero budget kakh ge” (Modiji, where has my budget gone?) will be the catchline of Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat, who will hit the road informing people how the Centre is depriving the state of its share of budget.
The fate of new schemes, launched by the Harish Rawat-led government during the budget in March, hangs in balance owing to lack of clarity on the status of the appropriation bill that got entangled in legalities.
The bill ‘fell through’ on the floor of the House on March 18 when nine Congress legislators had sought a division of votes on the money bill supporting the demand of the BJP, and the government was reduced to a minority.
When the state was under President’s rule, President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to an ordinance moved by the Narendra Modi government for expenditure beyond April 1.
Rawat alleged that he was forced to reach out to the people after knocking on the Centre’s doors to ratify the budgetary provisions passed by the state legislature.
“We have urged Union finance minister, written letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all other authorities and agencies concerned to get clearance on budget passed by the state legislature. Nothing has worked so far. Now, I have decided to the go to the people’s court from Tuesday,” said Rawat.
Sources close to the chief minister said Rawat and the Congress would hold intense campaign against the BJP. If the party’s move works, it will convert the drive into a massive movement until the Centre releases state’s budget,” said a close aide of Rawat on the condition of anonymity.
Rawat said the Centre and the Prime Minister must take the budget issue in its proper spirit and “let bygones be bygones”.
“He must consider the two-month of political crisis that occurred due to BJP’s desire to topple the Congress-led state government as an unwanted incident and get down to basic works for development of the state,” the chief minister said.
“I am concerned for the fund crunch after 2017 that will impair infrastructure developmental works in the state,” said Rawat.
He said one has to take a step forward to exhibit his statesmanship in politics.
“If the Centre wants, I will term this budget not as state government’s property but a joint budget of the state and centre,” said Rawat.