A week ago, 17 Opposition parties had come together and announced Meira Kumar as their joint candidate for the upcoming Presidential election. However, as Narendra Modi-led government launched India’s biggest economic reform at the stroke of midnight hour on June 30, the cracks within these parties were clearly visible. Even though Congress had decided to boycott the gala event held at the Central Hall of the Parliament and even the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave it a skip, key allies such as NCP, SP, BSP and JD (U) were among the attendees.
Congress wasn’t the only opposition party that skipped the event but was joined by TMC, Left parties, RJD and DMK. However, the differences withing Opposition were exposed right ahead of the major Presidential and vice-presidential election. From NCP, party chief Sharad Pawar and his daughter and MP Supriya Sule attended the function.
Speaking to The Indian Express, senior NCP leader Tariq Anwar said the Congress contacted Pawar after it announced the decision to stay away Thursday. “It was conveyed to them that we cannot take the decision at the last stage as it will not be appropriate. They should have discussed this earlier,” he said. However, he added that the party had always supported GST. “It is a U-turn by the BJP and Narendra Modi…they had been opposing it. And now they are celebrating. They have always shown double standards,” he said.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) June 30, 2017
From the Samajwadi Party, Ramgopal Yadav and Naresh Agarwal attended the event. “When Parliament has passed the Bill, why shouldn’t we be here? Both the sides came together and passed the Bill,” said Yadav.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma defended party’s position. “The Congress has taken its decision…Other Opposition parties have taken their decisions — TMC has taken the decision, the Left and the DMK have taken their decisions. It is not a matter of controversy. The Congress had not put forward any condition before any party,” he told The Indian Express.