The government will formally communicate to the Election Commission
(EC) that it will present the Union Budget as proposed on February 1, rejecting demands by Opposition parties to delay this in view of state elections.
Voting in five state elections will begin on February 4, days after the Budget is presented, with ballots being counted on March 11. The government decided to advance the presentation of the Budget and its passage to ensure spending starts from beginning of the financial year.
After the EC announced the poll schedule for five states, including the key state of UP, Opposition parties said this gave a clear advantage to the ruling party, allowing it to hand out sops despite the model code of conduct being in force, reported the Economic Times.