Union Budget reflects Centre's efforts to sideline non-BJP ruled states: Punjab CM

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Chandigarh, Feb 1 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday flayed the Union Budget, saying it reflects the Centre’s “persistent efforts to sideline” non-BJP ruled states.

His reaction came hours after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget for 2021-22.

The Punjab CM claimed that the Budget was “reflective of the BJP-led central government's total apathy towards the common man, the middle class and farmers”.

Amarinder criticised the Centre for the “stepmotherly” treatment meted out to Punjab and other northern states, claiming that it was 'designed' to cater to the poll-bound states of West Bengal nad south India with a massive infrastructure development allocation for these regions.

“The Budget also manifests the central government's persistent efforts to sideline non-BJP states like ours, as well as its anti-federal mindset,” said the CM, pointing to the gap between the fiscal deficit targets fixed for the Union government and states.

The Punjab CM claimed the vital sector of defence has not been adequately addressed despite the growing border threat from China and Pakistan while the allocation for the health sector was down amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“And did the Finance Minister not find it necessary to even mention constitutional guarantee for the MSP, one of the key demands of the farmers battling cold and lathis on the doorstep of New Delhi for over two months now,” the Punjab CM asked.

He lamented the two per cent hike for the agriculture sector, which had been the only well performing sector for the country amid the coronavirus lockdown. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK