After two wasted parliament sessions which resulted in crores of public money blown unrecoverable, the Congress Party vice president Rahul Gandhi said that the GST bill will be passed within fifteen minutes if the ruling govt reached out to the opposition.
Accusing the government of staying aloof from establishing any contact with the opposition, the Congress vice president said that the GST bill will be passed swiftly if the govt was willing to accept the Congress Party’s condition. Rahul also said that the govt was more focused on event management than actual governance.
Speaking in Mumbai, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said, “They have a different focus, and they are focusing not so much on the farmers, not so much on agriculture. And that’s where we’ve been playing a role, putting a bit of pressure on them to say that ‘you know, you just can’t forget them’. Land acquisition bill, MSP, putting the pressure in parliament on an MSP; this is a Hindu, this is a Muslim, this is a Sikh, this is a lower-caste person, this is a woman – these are all things that hide value that you can use to build your organization. The day the condition of a cap on taxes is accepted, the day dispute resolution point of ours is accepted is the day we will pass the GST, it will take fifteen minutes. But don’t blame us,” he said.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Congress leader, reiterated the Congress party’s stance and said, “We will be the happiest if concrete results and changes were found in India; we’d be the happiest if start-ups were to succeed in this way, but we are highly sceptical and rather disappointed because we’ve found this to be a govt of acronyms and words and slogans. We have not found it to be a govt where, on the ground, concrete deliverables have changed except words, campaigns and slogans.”
Opposing Rahul Gandhi and stating a need for the Congress party to change their mindset, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, BJP leader, said, “We think that the pride the Congress Party has in itself, will not help in any way the political motives of the party. If they think that by insulting the progress the country is making, they are doing something positive for the country, or helping their own party, then their thinking is wrong – that’s why insulting the progress is not good for their political health. Bills like the GST is not a bill of a particular party, it is not any individual’s bill, it is a bill related to the development of a country. That’s why we think they shouldn’t be stubborn or proud,” said the leader.
JDU leader Ajay Alok, said, “Everybody is trying to work for India together. It’s not the opposition’s, it is the govt’s concern . . . the govt wants to impose its bill and that is not acceptable. Govt has to reach out to the opposition. Every govt does it, the one who is in power, they have to do it. And this govt is not any different.”
Putting the blame solely on Congress for stalling the parliament, Nalin Kohli, National Spokesperson for BJP, said, “On GST, everyone knows that there were serious issues involved. When those issues were ironed out and the time of passing has come, it is the Congress Party that’s stalling parliament. So they are on the defensive, they want to shift the tables to remove the blame which is clearly at their end. With regard to sporting authorities, Rahul Gandhi can may be start by suggesting to members within his own party, that could be a good starting before giving advices to people outside. With regard to the farmers’ issue, clearly, he seems to have missed the news because he travels so much. The Prime Minister himself has launched a crop insurance scheme. But I don’t know Mr Rahul Gandhi if he wants to continue on this kind of politics of making allegations without being strong on the facts.”
Reacting to Rahul Gandhi’s statement, the ruling BJP-led NDA government said that the Congress party, instead of opposing, was resorting to blackmail the govt.