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Opposition meets EC, demands budget after state polls

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New Delhi, 5 Jan 2017 : Six opposition parties on Thursday urged the Election Commission to demand that the union budget must be deferred till assembly elections get over in five states.

“We told them that allowing the budget ahead of the polls gives an unfair advantage to the government and how the exercise can be used to influence the voters,” Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told the media.

“Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and his deputies heard us patiently,” he added.

The 11-member delegation included representatives from the Congress, Trinamool Congress, Janata Dal-United, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal.

The budget is scheduled to be presented on February 1, days before staggered assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur begin.

Trinamool Lok Sabha member Derek O’Brien hoped that the Election Commission will address their issues.

“There is enough time to present the budget after March 8. That is the fair way to do it. Not only the EC has to be fair but it has to be seen to be fair. We are optimistic,” said O’Brien.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed the opposition.

“The budget is a constitutional duty and not related to any one state. The presentation of the budget is not a sudden decision,” said union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

“The opposition parties have gone bankrupt on issues. That is why they are trying to create an issue of a non-issue. The government has decided February 1 for budget presentation and irrespective of what the opposition says it will be presented,” added Naqvi.

BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh said the opposition to the budget reflected the nervousness of the Congress and the Samajwadi Party.

“The budget is a constitutional mandate and has no bearing with elections. Every now and then we have elections… You don’t postpone a budget for that,” Singh added.

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PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti released from detention after 14 months

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Jammu, 13 Oct : Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti was on Tuesday released from detention. “PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti is being released from detention,” said Jammu and Kashmir administration spokesperson Rohit Kansal.

A government order issued on Tuesday night said her detention was being revoked with immediate effect.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration in July had extended her detention by three months under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).

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Cinemas, theatres, multiplexes to open with up to 50% seating capacity from Oct 15

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Swimming pools for training of sportspersons to open with SOP from Oct 15

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SAD breaks alliance with BJP Leaves NDA in protest against farmers ordinance

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Chandigarh, 26 Sep : The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has severed its alliance with the BJP. The Akali Dal had a 22-year-old alliance with the BJP.

The decision was taken after a meeting of the Akali Dal’s Kaur Committee which lasted for more than four hours today. Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal addressed the press after the meeting and announced that he would no longer be a part of BJP-NDA.

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