Rahul Gandhi in meeting mode over GST bill

Sonia has agreed in principle to support the bill, claims govt

GN Bureau | November 28, 2015



A day after Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh met prime minister Narendra Modi on pending bills in the parliament, especially the goods and services tax bill, the Congress party has gone into a huddle. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday called a meeting on the issue of GST bill.

Congress leader in the lok sabha Mallikarjun Kharge met Rahul Gandhi to discuss the party's stand on the GST Bill "If our concerns are met, a formula is reached, then we can move ahead," Kharge had told reporters earlier.

Meanwhile, Venkaiah Naidu expressed optimism that the GST Bill would be passed in this session of the Parliament. "Sonia ji said that in principle they support the bill, just that a few changes need to be made. I am optimistic," Naidu said on the PM's meeting with Congress president. "The public, everyone wants the GST passed. A good beginning has been made; PM's meeting with Sonia ji was very good," he added.

In a bid to give a push to the stalled GST Bill, PM Modi reached  out to the Opposition and tried to assuage concerns over intolerance. He later met Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh to break the ice, raising hopes of a deal on the key reform Bill.

"With regard to the GST Bill, the subject was discussed. Congress leaders explained their position on the three issues while the history and background of the issue was explained to them (by the government). Congress will discuss the issue within the party and get back," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had told reporters after the meeting yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Saturday asserted that the GST bill is the need of the hour and asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress not to make it a prestige issue.

"Now the stakes are very high because last whole session their abortive attempt to get the bill through failed miserably. So, now it's the time for them. If they cannot get it through then the blame will come on them and, therefore, it would mean that the government is ineffective and is not able to do anything. GST is the need of the hour," NCP leader Majeed Memon.

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