Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar

Populist measures may be announced during the session

“Govt. would be consolidating existing schemes”

BJP may raise the issue of sealing, demolition i

NEW DELHI: The upcoming Budget session of the Delhi Legislative Assembly from this coming Monday is expected to be a stormy affair. The general view is that while it is the last Budget session for the Delhi Government – a vote on account is due to be presented next year -- it could also end up being the last session in case early general elections are called in the country.

Politicians in Delhi have come round to the view that since the State Assembly elections in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are due later this year, they would be held along with the mid-term polls to the Lok Sabha if that scenario arises. As such, the popular view is that a number of populist measures may be announced during this session.

However, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has said her government will be looking towards “consolidation” of the existing schemes during the session.

“In the coming year we would be looking towards utilisation of a larger percentage of the funds for the various schemes that have already been announced. Also, there would be greater focus on monitoring of the implementation of these schemes which are for the benefit of a cross-section of society, especially the poor.”

L-G’s address

But the government is likely to use the Lieutenant-Governor’s address for elaborating on various initiatives undertaken by it. These would include the start of the Ladli girl child financial scheme, issue of more kerosene and ration at subsidised rates to families earning leas than Rs.1lakh per year, provision of sewer lines in 200 villages, planned introduction of 10,000 buses by the year 2010, foundation stone laying of Bawana power plant, and even the provision to construct 2 lakh houses for the poor at six identified sites.

The session will have a total of 14 sittings. Since the monsoon and winter sessions of the Assembly last only a week each, the Budget session would give greater opportunity to the members to air their views and address the concerns and needs of their constituencies.

The opposition BJP is also firming up its plan of action for the session. The BJP Legislature Party meeting on Wednesday discussed the strategies that the party can adopt for cornering the ruling Congress on various issues. Among other things, the party is likely to vehemently raise the issue of resumption of sealing and demolition in Delhi and the delay in regularisation of unauthorised colonies. It would try to nail the Congress over its alleged failure to bring in an amnesty scheme for providing one-time relief to all concerned.

Likewise, with the water and power shortage and irregularity in their supply already affecting the people, the party would also vociferously raise this issue. And with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit accusing Leader of Opposition Jagdish Mukhi and Delhi Mayor Aarti Mehra of misusing their official vehicles for going to protest at the CPI (M) headquarters this past week, the BJP is also expected to counter the claim by stating that the Congress had misused official machinery during the party rally at Ramlila Ground.