Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav attacked the BJP saying it insulted Lord Ram by claiming that the party “brought” Ram to the temple in Ayodhya, whereas the Hindu god always lived in people’s hearts.
“When Lord Ram resides in the heart, what is the need to take the name? Lord Ram was there earlier too,” Mr Yadav said during the budget session in the Legislative Assembly.
“Lord Ram is there even today. Lord Ram will always be there. When we were not there, Lord Ram was there, and when we would no longer be, Lord Ram would still be there. Therefore, by saying that you have brought Lord Ram, you are not only insulting Lord Ram, but also the religion,” he said, asking the BJP to stop doing politics in the name of religion.
Akhilesh Yadav cited the Governor’s address to say Rs 31,000 crore was spent on the beautification of Ayodhya ahead of the Ram Temple consecration ceremony.
The former UP Chief Minister criticised the “big budget” presented by the treasury bench, saying it means nothing if the government chooses to spend it covertly.
“The government does not provide information about how much has been spent of the amount allocated.”
He said, “Whether the UP budget is of Rs 7 lakh crore or Rs 8 lakh crore, the biggest question will always be ‘what is in it for the 90 per cent of the people of the state?’ The policy of the BJP is not for the common public of the state. It keeps 90 per cent of the budget for the 10 per cent of rich people. And only 10 per cent of the budget for the 90 per cent of the needy people.”
The SP chief mentioned in his speech several issues afflicting the state, such as inflation, law and order, unemployment, and farmer distress, and asked the government if there is enough in the budget to address these issues and also asked it to reveal the allocation towards them.
“Will the farmer get the right price for his crop? Whether the income of the farmers be doubled? Will the labourer get the right price for his hard work?” Mr Yadav asked, and used a Hindi proverb to claim big is not always better – ‘Bada hua to kya hua jaise ped khajoor, panchi ko chhaaya nahi, phal lage ati door.’
“India is the fifth (largest) economy in the world, but 80 crore are dependent on government ration. There is no exemption in rail fare for senior citizens. For the youth, there is only four-year Agniveer recruitment in the Army,” Mr Yadav said.
The Uttar Pradesh government presented a Rs 7.36 lakh crore budget for 2024-25 on Monday invoking Lord Ram and claiming to prioritise infrastructure development and the welfare of women, youth, and farmers.
UP’s Finance Minister Suresh Khanna started his budget speech in the assembly with a verse from the Ramcharitmanas and said that the state government is inspired by the concept of ‘Ram Rajya’.