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BJP-led Rajasthan govt's interim Budget 'deflated' Modi’s guarantee: Ashok Gehlot

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Jaipur, Feb 8 (PTI) Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said the interim Budget presented by the ruling BJP has “deflated” PM Modi's guarantee.

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Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Diya Kumari presented the ‘vote on account’ budget earlier today.

Gehlot said, "With today's vote on account, the BJP government in Rajasthan has deflated Modi's guarantee because, in the elections, PM Modi had guaranteed to make the prices of petrol and diesel in the state, at par with neighbouring states like Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.” Today, it has not even been mentioned in the vote on account, he said. “This shows that Modi's guarantees are completely hollow." Gehlot, in a statement, said the vote on account presented by Divya Kumari showed only allegations against the previous government instead of a vision for the state.

"The finance minister said that the debt of the Rajasthan government increased by Rs 2 lakh crore, but during the time of the UPA government, the debt of the Government of India was Rs 55 lakh crore till 2014, which increased to 161 lakh crore by 2023," he claimed.

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All the financial indicators of the Rajasthan government have been better than the Government of India, he said, adding that Rajasthan’s GDP was around Rs 9 lakh crore in 2018, which will increased to around Rs 15 lakh crore in 2023 and the state reached at the top spot in North India and second in the country in economic growth rate.

Meanwhile, the ruling BJP welcomed the state budget and termed it as a “welfare budget” as “every section has been appropriately focused on”.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhajanlal Sharma said the BJP government has presented the vote on account interim budget keeping in mind the hopes and aspirations of the public.

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He said that as per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision, “big gifts” have been given to all sections including women, farmers, students, businessmen, and employees.

In the official statement, the chief minister said that the budget will prove to be a realisation of the dream of ‘Suraaj Sankalp’ of the state government and will take the state on the path of development and progress.

Chief Minister Sharma, however, said, "Our government will write a new story of the economic progress of the state with wisdom, foresight, and efficient financial management.” He said the state government has made its resolution letter a policy document of the state government.

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This vote on account is important for fulfilling the promises of the resolution paper, he said, adding that this budget has also been a challenge for the government because due to the decisions of the previous government, the debt burden on the state has doubled, he said.

Terming the BJP-led Rajasthan government’s interim Budget “visionless”, Congress state president Govind Singh Dotasra said every section of society including farmers, youth and women are feeling cheated.

In the manifesto, the BJP had promised to provide financial assistance of Rs 12,000 per year under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, which was reduced to only Rs 8,000 per year. The promise of purchasing wheat for Rs 2,700 per quintal by giving a bonus on MSP also remained unfulfilled, he said.

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This budget is “directionless, visionless and deeply disappointing” for the 8 crore people of the state, Dotasra said.

They came to power with the promise of increasing the social security pension to Rs 1,500 but announced an increase of only Rs 150 to make it Rs 1150. The BJP government, dashing the expectations of the public, neither provided relief by cutting VAT on petrol and diesel in the budget nor made any clear announcement on new recruitments, he said.

"The difference between words and deeds was clearly visible in the very first budget of the BJP government that came to power by making promises of guarantees, populist promises and misleading the public," Dotasra said.

While talking to reporters outside the assembly, Congress MLA Harish Chaudhary said that there is “nothing” for Rajasthan in this budget.

BJP state president CP Joshi said this is a guarantee of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a budget that will fulfil the dreams of the people of Rajasthan and every section of the society has been taken care of in this inclusive budget. PTI AG NB NB

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