New Delhi: Following Election Commission’s announcement of schedule for Assembly polls in five states, there is speculation that the Railway and Union Budget for the year 2012-13 may be deferred by a few days.
The elections in five states would begin on January 28 and run till March 3 while counting of votes would take place the next day. However, the model code of conduct for Assembly polls would remain in place till March 9.
This may force the government to delay the presentation of budgets till after March 9. Highly-placed sources have confirmed that discussions on the same have already begun in the government.
The Railway and Union Budget are usually announced by February-end soon after Parliament`s Budget Session opens in the third or the last week of February.
Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi, announcing the poll dates yesterday for Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, had said the model code of conduct would be applicable with "immediate effect from now".
The code, announced to prevent governments from giving out sops to the electorate, remains operational till the process of elections is completed, which is March 9 in this case.
Asked about the poll schedule clashing with the presentation of the budgets, Quraishi had said: "The government will have to take care of it."
(With IANS inputs)