Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has said that presenting the Union Budget before the Assembly elections will be unfair to the state. Being the country’s most populous state, not announcing any schemes for Uttar Pradesh will adversely affect the more-than 200 million people there, he said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Presenting the Budget on February 1 will deprive Uttar Pradesh of developmental schemes that would have otherwise been announced, Yadav said, as the Election Commission has prohibited the Centre from declaring initiatives specific to any of the five poll-bound states. The UP chief minister pointed out that the 2012 Union Budget was presented by the United Progressive Alliance government only after Assembly elections had concluded.

The Samajwadi Party leader has urged Modi to consider presenting the Budget after the Assembly elections to allow UP’s population to benefit from any special schemes. The Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections will be held in seven phases, starting February 11.

Although Opposition parties had voiced their protest against the Union Budget being declared on February 1, the Supreme Court on January 23 had dismissed a petition demanding that it be postponed to after the polls in five states – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur.

Following the apex court’s ruling, the Election Commission had granted the Centre permission to present the Annual Budget on February 1, but on two conditions – it should not announce schemes specific to any of the five poll-bound states, and neither should the government mention any of its achievements in these states in the Budget speech.