Not having a government at the helm of Delhi did not stop the BJP from taking credit for the budget presented by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament on Friday.
This budget was crucial for the party as the possibility of re-elections in the city is quite real. Any populist measure announced by its government at the Centre will only benefit the state unit. And power has always been a touchy subject in the Capital.
In the Lok Sabha elections, the party had promised to reduce the tariff by almost 30 per cent. It had also promised to promote solar energy, an issue the budget addressed.
Senior BJP leaders said they had already asked their workers to go door to door and highlight the budget proposals among the public. The workers have been asked to spread the news of the steps the BJP-led central government has taken to reduce their burden by providing subsidy on power tariff.
Delhi state unit president Satish Upadhyay termed it a holistic budget and said it would ensure the welfare of all.
“This budget has taken special care of four major problems of Delhi: Power, water, unauthorised colonies and security of women. Health, education and transport are crucial areas that have been tackled too. The budget of `3,766 crore will come as a big relief to the people of Delhi. But no new tax has been introduced,” said Upadhyay.
Claiming that the Delhi unit had demanded subsidy for Delhiites bogged down by hefty bills, Upadhyay said they had fulfilled their poll promise despite not being in the government.
Former BJP president Vijender Gupta termed Friday’s budget as progressive. “The new government has shown its sensitivity towards inflationary pressures burdening the public by not announcing any new taxes and earmarking Rs. 260 crore for power subsidy,” he said.