GST rollout: Samajwadi Party (SP), has at the last moment decided to attend the rollout event of the Goods and Services Tax. Other opposition parties such as the Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Left parties have decided not to attend the event, which will begin at the Central Hall of the Parliament building on Friday night. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had on Thursday asked opposition parties to reconsider their decision not to attend the rollout ceremony. Jaitley had asked the opposition parties to not ‘disassociate’ themselves from a decision they were a party too, according to an Indian Express report.
Former Union Civil Aviation Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Praful Patel has questioned the stance of the opposition parties over not attending the launch ceremony of the Goods and Services Tax, which will be rolled out at an event which will begin on Friday Night.
The Congress, had in a press conference held on Thursday cited multiple reasons to not attend the GST rollout event. Ghulam Nabi Azad told the media that Congress would not take part in the ceremony as it did not think the venue was right for the event. In the press conference, the Congress also said that they will not attend the event as they opposed violence under Dalits, women and minorities. The party also cited farmer suicide as a reason to stay away from the event.
The Janata Dal (United) or JD(U), which is part of the opposition camp, says that it would leave the decision of attending the event on MPs. The party, which backs the GST, has questioned the Centre’s attempt to term the GST rollout as a ‘great historic moment’. JD(U) and the SP will be the only opposition parties which will be attending the ceremony. However, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar will not attend.
The government has sent an invite to all members of parliament, irrespective of party allegiance, to attend the GST rollout ceremony.