1. Narendra Modi must talk directly to Sonia Gandhi to pass the GST Bill

Narendra Modi must talk directly to Sonia Gandhi to pass the GST Bill

PM Narendra Modi will have to break his ‘maun vrata’ and lead from the front in breaking the parliamentary logjam if he is serious about pushing reforms

By: | New Delhi | Updated: August 26, 2015 4:31 PM
Narendra Modi rahul gandhi

There is nothing to lose for Narendra Modi here as even if he fails to persuade Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, he will at least not be faulted for not trying hard enough. (PTI)

Indian RailwaysPM Narendra Modi will have to break his ‘maun vrata’ and lead from the front in breaking the parliamentary logjam if he is serious about pushing reforms.

It is good that Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu is talking to the non-NDA parties to salvage the Monsoon Session by getting the goods and services tax (GST) Bill passed along with a few others in the proposed second part of the session, that the NDA government wants to convene for this purpose.

The government is looking at this window in September to clear the GST, the real estate bill and the negotiable instruments bill, and its managers say that Naidu is willing to speak to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi to get this going.

But, the problem is that nothing has changed in terms of the political stance of both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since the adjournment of the Monsoon Session on August 13, which could have helped build a consensus here.

The Monsoon Session saw one of the most bitter exchange of words between the senior leaders of the two parties, and for any improvement in the working relationship, first of all, the top leadership must come in good talking terms.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being in-charge of the government, therefore, needs to shrug off his ‘maun vrata’ and take the initiative himself by speaking to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

If he can explain the importance of reform like GST to his officials and cabinet colleagues and the foreign investors, what is the problem in talking to the Congress party chief and also others in the Opposition ranks, directly.

In any case, the NDA lacks a majority in the Rajya Sabha, and it needs the support of other parties to get the Bill passed by Parliament and implement the tax reform from April 1, 2016.

Of course, the Congress party leaders will demand resignations of Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in Lalitgate and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan in the Vyapam scam, besides demanding changes that it has suggested in the GST Bill — scrapping of 1% additional tax and fixing of 18% rate — but this can’t be a reason for avoiding direct connect.

There is nothing to lose for the prime minister here as even if he fails to persuade Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, he will at least not be faulted for not trying enough.

On its part, the Congress party must understand that blocking of reforms will ensure that India misses another opportunity to capitalise on the global turmoil and grow fast.

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  1. R
    Aug 26, 2015 at 6:05 pm
    Why the he has to this ppl, if he willing to good for India???
    1. Virendra Sason
      Aug 26, 2015 at 10:48 am
      यदि पिछले 7 सालोँ में BJP ने सकारात्मक विपक्ष की भूमिका निभाही होती तो GST Bill (with some modifications) पास हो चूका होता।
      1. b
        Aug 26, 2015 at 1:57 pm
        The more the Congress opposes the more it loses. If the BJP is guilty of blocking parliament during UPA the Congress should have shown that its the better party by cooperating,not by holding parliament work.
        1. B
          Bonvoice M
          Sep 19, 2015 at 4:59 pm
          GST Is most Welcome. We are tired of many layers of Taxes.
          1. S
            Aug 26, 2015 at 11:43 am
            As of today india doesn't have a "qualified" opposition party. The so called opposition parties are just creating ruckus instead of they having a healthy debate. Modi should talk to as many non NDA parties as possible and gain their support than discussing with sonia hi/congress who are trying to create a situation to take advantage
            1. S
              Aug 26, 2015 at 3:59 pm
              rajya sabha voting doesnt work like this, it has to be all consensus or none. Modi JI has to take sonia ji via strong diplomacy, i hope GST is ped.
              1. G
                Aug 27, 2015 at 10:07 am
                Both parties are equally responsible for delaying reforms - imp. GST ping. Politicians are happily enjoying 35-40% tax. its common man who dying of its fall outs high prices, lack of employment opportunities, losing-jobs.
                1. M
                  Mera Mera
                  Aug 26, 2015 at 6:18 pm
                  Modi has no face to talk to Sonia and Rahul as he himself rejected the same bill in 2011 when Congress wanted to do this reform. Modi has nothing to do with India and for him , his own ego is number. He rejected the same bill for his ego and he won't let the parliament run for his own ego. Congress was better in diplomacy who was able to p many bills even in a majority government. India has grown today just because of Congress reform. The same BJP opposed the reform in 1991 when Congress first started reform.
                  1. K
                    K Roy
                    Aug 26, 2015 at 9:24 am
                    Why BJP is not going for calling joint session of perliament to p all important pending bills?
                    1. K
                      Aug 26, 2015 at 2:29 pm
                      Looking at it from other end, Congress is obstructionist in this entire issue so why did author lose out on this and put onus on Congress instead of mentioning it in last two lines. It is the problems and hurdles that need to be seen and tackled and not one who faces those hurdles. Author lost the entire plot.
                      1. K
                        KSG Kamath
                        Aug 26, 2015 at 11:12 am
                        What for?
                        1. N
                          Narendra M
                          Aug 26, 2015 at 11:19 am
                          (1) Reforms like Goods & Service Tax (GST) are in people’s interest and from this viewpoint it is okay that Union Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley wants the GST bill to be ped as early as possible. But BJP leaders like him have not displa political maturity and accepted the high cost of disruptions with regard to dela implementation of reforms like GST. Our prime Minister too has not responded to a critical situation wherein reforms like GST have been stalled. (2) NDA government has to accept that without cooperation from opposition parties it would not be able to implement reform measure like GST or p amendments to the Land Acquisition law. (3) Let us be frank about it: as regards their atude to functioning of Parliament, both BJP and the Congress have misused the so-called strategy of disruptions. It is of course possible, to blame Rahul hi and Sonia hi for the washed out session of Parliament. But we cannot forget recent history. BJP has resorted to disruptions and dela reforms like GST when UPA was in power. (4) I believe to end the stalemate BJP and Congress should apologise to the country and also abandon disruptive politics. .
                          1. R
                            Aug 26, 2015 at 11:35 am
                            Modi is drunk on Power. So is his entire cabinet . They stopped listening to anyone long time back . They forget that same people who gave them this power can take it away . What happened to Sibal can happen to Jaitely too . Only a matter of time .
                            1. Raghav Uchil
                              Aug 26, 2015 at 11:22 am
                              Dont you think Sonia hi too has got equal responsibility just like Narendra Modi? Why she can't act little more maturely rather than rush itto well to oppose the govt decisions? She shud actively partite in the debate and find a via media for the problem rather than walk out of the parliament everytime. If she acts this way, next time, she might lose out in the election and may have to sit at home knitting a sweater for her equally inept son.
                              1. X
                                Aug 26, 2015 at 11:24 am
                                Modi has no face to talk with Congress or Sonia. Because he has first got to explain why he opposed it for eight long years. He has to give a real reason, not an item song like Sushma.
                                1. G
                                  Aug 26, 2015 at 10:54 am
                                  Does the writer want Mr Modi to offer a bribe to Sonia and her son for their loss of revenue as a result of losing power at the Centre and consequent loss of the cashpoint card to the ATM akshayapatra of the nations money?
                                  1. Mohan Mohan
                                    Aug 26, 2015 at 10:47 am
                                    Government should talk to the people and explain why it opposed GST bill while it was in the opposition.
                                    1. H
                                      Aug 28, 2015 at 5:05 am
                                      How did the new NDA Government achieve consensus in less than 10 months, when UPA couldnt do it in 10 years? They agreed to the demands of the states. Out of the above 4 demands, 3 were accepted, and a bonus benefit was ped on to the state: 1. Petroleum was kept out of GST 2. Alcohol was kept out of GST 3. A proposal was sent to law ministry to work out a “Consutional Guarantee” to compensate states 4. And the Bonus: The power to states of levying additional 1% tax levy, for maximum 2 years, to help augment state revenues
                                      1. H
                                        Aug 28, 2015 at 5:03 am
                                        1. Sunny More
                                          Aug 26, 2015 at 5:26 pm
                                          why should PM talk to Sonia hi, who is she to be asked for ping bill. neither she is opposition leader nor a member of any decision making authority
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