Poll dates may defer union budget

New Delhi : The railways and the general budgets for the year 2012-13 may have to be deferred by a few days due to the model code of conduct for assembly polls in five states being in place till March 9.

The railways and the main budgets 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 S.Y. Quraishi, announcing the poll dates Saturday for Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, 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 said: “The government will have to take care of it.”

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