'This Is The First In Last 75 Years': CM Kejriwal Writes To PM Modi As Centre Stalls Delhi's Budget

The presentation of the Delhi government's Budget for 2023-24, which was scheduled for Tuesday, has been put on hold with the Kejriwal dispensation and the central government trading charges over allocations under various heads.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday requesting him to "not stop Delhi's budget", amid a row between the Centre and the AAP dispensation in the national capital over the issue.

In his letter, Kejriwal said: "This is the first in the last 75 years that a state's budget has been stalled. Why are you upset with Delhiites? Please don't stall Delhi's budget. With folded hands, Delhiites urge you to pass their budget." 

The AAP-Centre feud

Speaking at a programme on Monday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal charged that the Centre was resorting to "gundagardi" and that it was for the first time in the history of the country that a budget of a government was put on hold. A video clip of his speech was tweeted by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Sources in the Delhi government said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has stopped the Kejriwal government's budget and it will not be tabled in the Assembly on Tuesday.

As the chief minister lashed out at the Centre, sources in the MHA said the ministry has sought clarification from the AAP government as its budget proposal had high allocation for advertisement and relatively low funding for infrastructure and other development initiatives.

The advertisement allocation controversy

Delhi Finance Minister Kailash Gahlot denied the charges as lies. The total budget size was Rs 78,800 crore, out of which 22,000 crore was earmarked for expenditure on infrastructure and just Rs 550 crore on advertisements, he said.

The allocation for advertisement was the same as in last year's budget, he added.

(With PTI Inputs)