‘Delhi first’: Arvind Kejriwal’s unusual message for Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget
Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal says the BJP-led central government should not let election code of conduct to prevent it from announcing more funds for DelhiUpdated: Jan 16, 2020 14:34 IST
Aam Aadmi Party boss Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday asked Finance Minister NIrmala Sitharaman not to let the model code of conduct stand in the way of making announcements that would benefit the national capital.
“Delhi’s development shouldnt stop at any cost,” Kejriwal told reporters, declaring that he disagreed with advice that the Aam Aadmi Party should take all steps to try to get the Union Budget, scheduled to be presented on February 1, deferred.
Delhi assembly elections are scheduled a week later, on February 8, and there was a view that people could get influenced by the announcements, he said.
“But I disagree,” Kejriwal told the news conference. The Centre should announce as many schemes as possible for Delhi, he said, underlining that it did not matter if it would help the BJP.
“We want the budget on 1 February and we want that in this budget, the Centre makes many announcements about Delhi so that people benefit and Delhi’s development is fast-tracked,” the chief minister said.
Kejriwal suggested it was expected that all political parties would make promises in the run up to the elections and the budget offered an opportunity for the rival Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government to back up its promises with money.
The Centre could also, he continued, give the three BJP-run municipal corporations as much money as it wants.
Kejriwal said he would put this stand on record in a letter that he will write to the Centre.
The AAP convenor’s unusual request to the Centre is seen as part of a pre-emptive move by the party that had swept the 2015 assembly elections, and hopes for a repeat performance. It could also provide ammunition to the AAP to counter the BJP when it promises more funds to Delhi during the election.
One of the campaign pitches of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is in power at the Centre and the municipal corporations, is to elect the party to the city government too to let the triple-engine power Delhi’s development.