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AAP to kick off year-long ‘deshbhakti’ festival, funds to find place in Budget

AAP government sources said Friday that the upcoming Delhi budget, slated to be tabled on March 9, will have a special ‘deshbhakti’ (patriotism) segment on allocation made for the planned celebrations.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
March 6, 2021 4:42:18 am
Incidentally, the Arvind Kejriwal government is planning to launch a deshbhakti curriculum, which has been described by the government as a way for children to understand “the self, society, nation and the world” better. (File)

Having announced its plan to contest polls in five BJP-ruled states in 2022, the AAP will kickstart a year of ‘deshbhakti’ festivities on March 12 to celebrate the 75th year of India’s independence, with its government in Delhi financing the events.

AAP government sources said Friday that the upcoming Delhi budget, slated to be tabled on March 9, will have a special ‘deshbhakti’ (patriotism) segment on allocation made for the planned celebrations. Events will also be held outside the national capital, sources said.

The AAP has announced that it will contest assembly polls in BJP-ruled Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Congress-ruled Punjab, where it is the principal opposition, in 2022.

A government official also said the size of the budget will be higher than last year, when Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had presented a Rs 65,000 crore budget. The official did not clarify how the government plans to increase its outlay over last year despite a drop in its earnings due to the pandemic-induced lockdown.

However, the highlight of the budget would be the allocation under the deshbhakti head, the official said. Incidentally, the Arvind Kejriwal government is planning to launch a deshbhakti curriculum, which has been described by the government as a way for children to understand “the self, society, nation and the world” better.

“The celebrations will begin on March 12 through an event at Central Park in Connaught Place and continue till August 15, 2022. We will create a festive-like ambience in the city. We will also present our vision of how India should be in 2047 through our events. There will be events across Delhi. In fact, not just Delhi, we are planning to showcase the role of Delhi in India’s independence and its vision for the year 2047 across states,” said the source.

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The government will continue to lay emphasis on areas of education, health and infrastructure in the budget, officials said. There will be enhanced allocation for measures related to women’s safety and public transportation, especially electric mobility.

After coming to power in 2015, the AAP had picked ‘swaraj’ or self-rule as the theme of its budget for 2015-16, with large amount of money being kept aside for its water and power subsidy schemes, which remain in force. The 2018-19 budget, meanwhile, was named ‘green budget’ as a large number of anti-pollution measures were brought under a common head.

While the budget is likely to be presented on March 9, the outcome budget and economic survey are likely to be tabled on March 8.

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