While the Congress remained adamant on its words to boycott the launch of Goods and Service Tax (GST), some parties from the Opposition attended the event that took place in a special midnight session on June 30. In the historic event, the members of Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Janata Dal (Secular) and Janata Dal (United) were present at the Central Hall of Parliament to attend the event. But it does not make any difference in the unity of Opposition, as the Opposition was united and would remain so, says Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad. A day after the launch, Azad told The Indian Express that the attendance of parties on the occasion was only a symbolic representation. No MPs of any of these parties were present at the launch but it was only one or two individuals that went, he said. The Opposition leader called it a small thing and said that it does not matter.
Azad also commented on the decision of JD(U) to support Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led-NDA government’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. According to him, the party’s decision to support the former Bihar Governor is a one-off case and he is confident that like any other secular party, the Nitish Kumar led-JD(U) can never compromise with non-secular parties. The term of President Pranab Mukherjee ends on July 24 and the saffron party has nominated former Bihar Governor for the top constitutional post, while the Congress-led Opposition parties brought the name of former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar against Kovind.
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Earlier on Friday, the Janata Dal (United) had defended party’s decision to support Kovind and lashed out at Congress for accusing the party of destroying Opposition unity with this decision. While the Congress-led Opposition parties brought the name of Kumar for the post, JD(U) supported Kovind that has been criticized. Reacting to the criticism, JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi had said that the party was very upset on the way Congress was behaving and said with this the party’s coalition partner in Bihar is undertaking character assassination of its leader Nitish Kumar, as per The Indian Express. However, Tyagi had cleared that the party is in favour of a common Opposition nominee in the Vice President’s election, if it will be decided after discussions with the leaders of all opposition parties including Nitish Kumar.