MHA approves the Delhi budget after stalling it, triggering an early political turmoil

A political slugfest between the AAP and BJP started after the Union Ministry of Home Affairs stalled the Delhi budget for 2023 citing issues.

MHA approves the Delhi budget after stalling it, triggering an early political turmoil

Allegations and counter-allegations over the Union Home Ministry (MHA) stalling the Delhi budget created political turmoil in the capital city.

On Monday, March 20th, the MHA issued a press release requesting the Delhi government to resubmit the budget. Through the press release, the MHA said that the lieutenant governor (LG) of Delhi raised certain concerns about the administrative nature of the Delhi budget proposal after the MHA had accepted it. 

The press release also revealed that the MHA wrote a letter to the Delhi government on Friday, March 17th, keeping in mind the fiscal interest of the National Capital Territory. The letter requested the Delhi government to resubmit the proposed budget after addressing the LG’s concerns.

According to the press release, the Delhi government had not responded to the letter regarding the LG’s concerns for four days.

While the press release did not say anything else, its issuance on Monday implied that the MHA would not approve the budget proposal unless the government took action to address the LG’s concerns.

Soon after this press release, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government alleged that the Union government is resorting to political tussle with it over the budget. In a tweet, Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that it was the first time in India’s history that a Union government had stalled the Delhi budget.

According to various media reports, Delhi’s current Finance Minister Kailash Gehlot accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Union government of unconstitutionally putting a hold on the budget and said that he received the letter from the MHA on Monday, not last Friday; and after receiving it, he sent a proper reply to the MHA on the same day.

Earlier, in a series of tweets, the AAP highlighted some important facets of the Delhi budget proposal. Via the tweets, the AAP showed how the city-state government has proposed a lion’s share of the budgetary allocation to health, education and infrastructure.

On the other hand, Delhi BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana blamed the AAP government for stalling the budget presentation. He alleged that the Delhi government did not take any action regarding the letter sent by the MHA. In an interview with Mirror Now, Khurana criticised the Delhi government for leaking the budget on social media.

However, as per the latest reports from the news agency PTI, the MHA has accepted the Delhi budget proposal and given the green signal to the Delhi government to present the budget in the Assembly.

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