Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma today slammed the BJP-led NDA government for holding the GST roll out function in Parliament’s Central Hall, terming it as an “insult” to its prestige and a “publicity” tool while asserting that the party will not participate in the launch. Hours before the roll out of the new indirect tax regime, Sharma said, “If they had conducted it outside the Central Hall, invited us with respect, we would have gone”. He said the reason behind the Congress boycotting the GST launch event was “ideological” and not political in nature. The Congress leader termed the midnight GST launch event in the Central Hall of Parliament as trivialising its prestige, observing that it had witnessed historic past events like Jawaharlal Nehru’s famous speech on India’s “tryst with destiny” to mark the country’s independence from British rule. Asserting that the Congress supports the Goods and Services Tax, Sharma said the party wants a trial run to be carried out initially to gauge the issues faced by businesses. The Congress leader questioned why petroleum, alcohol, real estate and electricity were being kept out of GST.
Asked about the JD(U) participating in the GST launch, Sharma said every political party has a right to have its own views and that parties that understand which events should be organised in the Central Hall of Parliament are not going. Sharma refused to comment on reports about Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s growing closeness with the BJP, at the Aaj Tak GST Conclave here.
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