Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today questioned the “appropriateness” of criticisms of demonetisation and GST by non-NDA parties, noting that the proposal for the new tax regime was brought by the previous Congress-led UPA while note ban was an “important” step against black money. “I cannot understand the appropriateness of the sudden spurt in criticisms of the GST (Goods and Services Tax). Our stand has been always clear in this regard. We had supported the new tax regime at the very outset, even when we were not with the NDA,” Kumar told reporters here on the sidelines of his weekly “Lok Samvad” programme. “However, those who have suddenly begin to find fault with the new tax regime brought in by the NDA government at the Centre, need to remember that it was first proposed by the UPA itself,” he said, in a veiled dig at the Congress. Kumar also disapproved of the agitations planned by various parties on the first anniversary of demonetisation on November 8, saying “the decision was tough, but essential for putting a check on black money”.
“I wonder what message the parties which are opposing it are trying to send across,” he added. Kumar sidestepped queries about whether he would take part in the campaign for the upcoming Assembly polls in Gujarat, where his Janata Dal (United) has decided to field candidates in a few seats. Asked about the demand of reservation for Patidars, which has become a volatile issue in the poll-bound western state, he said, “We fully support that demand. It is our firm belief that the roots of such demands lay in agrarian crisis. We can find a solution only if we first acknowledge that there is a problem.”
Kumar had even met the Patidar quota movement leader Hardik Patel in Patna when he was heading an alliance with the RJD and the Congress. Replying to a query about rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, who is currently touring Bihar and criticising the chief minister for quitting the Grand Alliance and joining the NDA, Kumar, who is also the party’s national president, said “I am happy that in the last four months he has got more publicity than he had received in the previous 40 years.”