GST rollout: NDA government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will roll out Goods and Services Tax (GST) on Friday midnight from central hall of Parliament. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has decided not to attend the event personally even as he left it to JD(U) MPs to take a call on whether they wanted to be present or not, according IANS report. This comes after Kumar had supported GST and backed NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind’s candidature for the post of President. Janata Dal-United leader K.C. Tyagi said that the party has not issued any whip to its MPs vis-a-vis the midnight session.
This move assumes political significance. While Nitish Kumar decided to back GST and Kovind, its ally in Bihar RJD led by veteran Lalu Prasad Yadav has criticised the central government over these issues. The Nitish Kumar-led party had earlier been in favour of attending the event, but it was wary of further alienating its allies in Bihar, the Congress and the RJD, the report says
Apart from Kumar, senior JD(U) leader and Rajya Sabha member Sharad Yadav is likely to skip the event. Several party MPs had said that they were yet to get an instruction about whether to attend it or not. Notably, the party has 12 members in Parliament. JD(U), however, backed its decision to support GST, saying it would benefit Bihar which consumed more than its manufacturing output. The party, however, criticised the government. It said that it agreed with the criticism of the Congress over the “hype” the government had given to the event.
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“We have supported the GST and Bihar were among the first states to endorse it… However, the way the government is projecting this as India’s economic liberation is very unfortunate. It is just a reform measure. We have left it to our MPs to decide about attending the event,” he said. The Congress today decided to boycott the government’s special midnight meeting on GST, calling it a “grand self-promoting tamasha (gimmick)”.