Congress decides it will not attend GST launch

  • Congress decides it will not attend GST launch

Congress decides it will not attend GST launch

Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC), Left parties, Samajwadi Party and Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party had already announced that they would skip the GST event. "Our party will not participate in the mid-night celebration organised by union government for GST roll out", Ghulam Nabi Azad said specifying two reasons for the "boycott" one it is a "gimmickry" and second the prevailing situation of oppression of minority, dalits and farmers.

The historic Central Hall of Parliament will host a midnight function on June 30 to launch India's biggest tax overhaul since independence. "In 1972, the session was held to mark silver jubilee and the third time it was for golden jubilee of our Independence", Azad said, adding, "Maybe 1947 has no relevance for BJP because they played no role in freedom struggle".

The statesmanship of Singh, who backed GST unlike demonetisation - another financial adventure the Modi government indulged in last November - played to his successor's advantage and now the BJP has personally invited him to leave the Opposition in a fix. Prior to this the midnight session has taken place only twice- 50th year of Independence and 50th anniversary of the Quit India Movement. The function will begin at 11 pm on Friday and both PM Modi and President Mukherjee will speak on the occasion. There are serious apprehensions in the minds of people over GST's implementation.

Former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and H D Deve Gowda are expected to be at the session and would be on the podium at the time of the launch according to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

It is firm on rolling out GST, which replaces a slew of indirect taxes on goods and services, on July 1 as planned and has gone all out to make it a grand launch. "I hope Congress also realises and then revises its decision", the minister said. A conch will be sounded at midnight to usher in the GST. And after 2008 till 2014 the only Chief Minister opposing this was Mr. Modi. This announcement has also ruled out the possibility of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attending the event.

What is the significance of a midnight joint parliamentary session? "This is not done and acceptable", Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

The CPI is clear that it will not attend the event. "The entire country is rejoicing and I would say you will appear small by taking such a stand", Naidu said.