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IANS

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday presented a budget of over Rs 1.42 lakh crore for the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir for the year 2022-23 in the Lok Sabha.

The budget was tabled by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman amid opposition from some members including Congress MP Manish Tewari, who demanded for more time to discuss the budget. Opposition members are opposing a motion by the Finance Minister seeking suspension of certain rules to allow the Lok Sabha to take up the discussion on the same day.

Tewari said: "While scrapping Article 370, the government had said that Jammu and Kashmir will be emotionally integrated with the country and the pace of development will be increased. After 33 months, I would like to ask if the government is successful in achieving both the goals and I humbly say 'no'. Law and order situation was sensitive in 2019 and is more sensitive in 2022." Tewari said.

Tewari asked when statehood of Jammu and Kashmir will be restored as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have assured the House in the past.

Questioning ongoing delimitation process, Tewari said that as per his knowledge local political parties are not happy with the process and they need to be actively involved in the whole exercise. He demanded for provision of representation of Sikh minority in the assembly.

Participating in the discussion, BJP Member Jugal Kishor Sharma lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for scrapping Article 370 and said that development in the Union Territory has increased since August 2019. He also complimented Prime Minister Modi for his handling of the Covid-19 crisis in Jammu and the rest of India and providing free ration and Covid vaccine.

TMC Member Sougata Ray termed it as budget for bureaucratic expenditure and said, "I opposed abrogation of Article 370 and still oppose it as it was a wrong step and the country has to pay for it in future. Apart from fulfilling BJP's agenda it has no meaning."

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh asked will Congress commit on the floor of the House to bring back Article 370 if they return to power.
 

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