Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday met Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. There was no word from the Congress on what was discussed at the meeting held a week before the winter session of Parliament. Ostensibly, Arun Jaitley has been meeting leaders of parties across the political divide in recent days to extend invitation for his daughter’s wedding next month. However, with the upcoming Parliament session being crucial to pass a number of important bills to push forward the PM Narendra Modi govt’s reforms agenda, the meet has acquired significance.
Here are 5 reasons why:
1.With the Indian economy stuttering since PM Modi has taken over and economic reforms not being implemented as the NDA govt does not have a majority in the Upper House to get them passed, chances of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fulfilling its poll promises do not seem to be even a distant probability.
2. Most analysts have repeatedly said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bigwigs like PM Narendra Modi or Arun Jaitley should approach the Congress party’s Sonia Gandhi to find a workable solution to push reforms in India.
3. While no sign is emerging of PM Modi meeting Sonia, Arun Jaitley’s Rahul Gandhi meet points towards an increasingly softening stance, at least, by the NDA govt.
4. Arun Jaitley has repeatedly said in the last few days that he would reach out to Congress and Gandhi to seek his help to clear the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, the government’s big reform measure that is stuck in Parliament on stiff opposition from Congress.
5. Not easily placated, reports indicate that Arun Jaitley’s meeting with Rahul Gandhi was welcome but the government should also speak with leaders of the Congress party in the two houses of Parliament – Mallikarjun Kharge in the Lok Sabha and Ghulam Nabi Azad in the Rajya Sabha – on the issue of GST and other pending bills.
(With PTI inputs)