By-election schedule leads to uncertainty over Andhra budget

February 17th, 2012 - 11:24 am ICT by IANS  

Telangana Hyderabad, Feb 17 (IANS) With the Election Commission announcing the schedule for by-elections to seven Andhra Pradesh assembly seats, the state government is consulting legal experts on whether it can go ahead with the presentation of the state budget later Friday.

Finance Minister Anam Ramnarayan Reddy is scheduled to present the budget for 2012-13 in the state assembly Friday afternoon. However, the announcement of the poll schedule Thursday night has put the government in a dilemma.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has urged the government to defer the budget as the code of conduct has already come into effect. TRS leaders said the government should postpone the budget as it could influence voters.

Official sources said the government was consulting legal and constitutional experts on whether presentation of the budget would amount to violation of the code of conduct. The government is also likely to seek the opinion of the Election Commission.

The state cabinet, which met Friday morning, approved the budget.

The Election Commission Thursday night announced that the by-elections to seven seats would be held on March 18. The poll notification would be issued on Feb 22 and the last date for filing nominations is Feb 29. The election would be held on March 18 and the counting of votes would be taken up on March 21.

The vacancies were caused by the resignations of two legislators of the ruling Congress, one from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), three rebels of TDP and the death of one independent MLA.

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