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"Illiterates From Top To Bottom": Arvind Kejriwal Amid Delhi Budget Row 1
Arvind Kejriwal said it is the same budget which has received the Centre’s approval now.New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said the Centre’s objection to the budget is unconstitutional, and the objections made are completely groundless. Speaking at the Delhi assembly, where the budget was to be presented today, Mr Kejriwal said till date, no Central government has violated tradition and stalled the budget of any state.Then, picking holes in the objections cited by Centre, he said, “In the budget, Rs 20,000 crore was allocated for infrastructure, 500 crore for advertisement. We never heard that 500 is more than 20,000″.”They have kept a group of illiterate people from top to bottom,” said the Chief Minister, whose government considers the overhaul of Delhi schools one of its biggest achievements. As the handful of BJP members broke into a hubbub of protest, Mr Kejriwal added, “I have not taken the name of your leader,” sending the house into gales of laughter.Sources in the home ministry said yesterday that AAP government’s budget proposal had high allocation for advertisement and relatively low funding for infrastructure and other development initiatives, which is why a clarification was sought. AAP said they received the file last evening and the back and forth had stalled the budget presentation.Denying the charges, finance minister Kailash Gahlot, who was to present the budget in the Delhi Assembly today, had said of the Rs 78,800 crore budget, Rs 22,000 crore was earmarked for infrastructure and Rs 550 crore on advertisements.”On 20th at 2 pm, the minister was informed that some objection has come from the Union Home Ministry. After this, the minister called repeatedly, then at 6 in the evening, the file was kept in front of the minister. We had the option of fighting or going to court, but we responded to all observations,” Mr Kejriwal said.The budget received the Centre’s approval today, sources said. Mr Kejriwal said it is the very same budget which has received approval now.”After we responded to the observations, they approved the budget. They could have done it earlier… I am just saying that instead of these illiterates who don’t understand the budget, give it to someone who understands it,” he added.The Chief Minister, who had accused the Centre of deliberately stalling the budget, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid the row. In assembly today, he reiterated the message.”I appeal to the Prime Minister through this House — we want to work we don’t want to fight. PM-ji, please let us run Delhi. You are doing great things, you focus on that, let us focus on our job,” he said.BJP allegations about AAP misuse of public funds for advertisements has been a recurring event since 2015.In 2021, even Union Home Minister Amit Shah had taken a dig at AAP, saying of the two political cultures in the country, one is the silent worker and the other is “karo ya na karo, advertisements do, TV interviews do. (Just give advertisements even if you don’t do anything and give interviews to TV news channels)”.”The people of Delhi have realised who actually carries out development works and who just does the lip service,” he had said.In December last year, Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena had ordered that AAP reimburse the government 163.62 crore it illegally spent on advertisements. The recovery notice, issued by the Directorate of Information and Publicity, had triggered a huge political row.  Then Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had pointed out that advertisements of BJP chief ministers are published in Delhi’s newspapers too. “Will BJP also recover money from them,” he had questioned.

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