With the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha poll just a few months away, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh will table its second Supplementary Budget of the current fiscal 2018-19 in the winter session of the state legislature beginning Tuesday.
In the first Supplementary Budget tabled in August 2018, the state had sought additional funds worth Rs 348 billion for ongoing developmental projects. Together with the Annual Budget 2018-19 of Rs 4.28 trillion, the government has so far already received total funds totalling almost Rs 4.63 trillion.
Although, the size of the second Supplementary Budget is under wraps, since it is the prerogative of the house, according to sources, it is tipped to be around Rs 150 billion given the high stake election early next year, when the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) mascot and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would seek a re-election against the spectre of a joint opposition.
The UP government is understood to seek additional funds under various departments with direct bearing on the general population viz. energy, tourism, public works department, apart from environment and civil aviation. Supplementary budget is tabled to get legislature approval for meeting additional expenses during the course of the financial year.
In the backdrop of the BJP defeats in the Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh at the hands of a rejuvenated Congress under the stewardship of party president Rahul Gandhi, the Adityanath government is unlikely to leave any stone unturned to repeat the 2014 poll performance of the saffron party. Therefore, it would splurge on projects to keep the people in good humour and recall them during high pitch electioneering.
In 2014 Lok Sabha poll, the BJP and its ally Apna Dal had won 73 of the total 80 constituencies in UP, which in effect helped the party form the government at the Centre with majority.
Meanwhile, the Supplementary Budget demands are likely to be placed before the legislature on Wednesday and after brief discussion, it is likely to be put on vote the following day.
In the first Supplementary Budget worth Rs 348 billion of the financial year, the Adityanath dispensation had allocated Rs 8 billion for the proposed Jewar International Airport in Gautam Budh Nagar district, which was then facing farmers’ protest pertaining to land acquisition. Of the Budget, about Rs 195 billion and Rs 153 billion pertained to the revenue and capital expenditure heads respectively.
Since the winter session is coming under the shadow of defeat for the ruling BJP, the sittings in both the houses of the UP legislature would probably be stormy with the opposition parties viz. Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Congress, fresh from its rich poll exploits, cornering the Adityanath government on various issues, including law and order.