GST launch: Opposition to boycott, FM appeals to reconsider

Congress on Thursday said it will not attend the launch of GST in Parliament House at midnight on Friday. Briefing media in New Delhi, senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said Congress is not opposed to GST per se, but the BJP is blowing the event out of proportion.

He said no function other than those related to country’s independence have been held in Central Hall of Parliament at midnight so far. He said, perhaps BJP does not realise the greatness of freedom struggle. Azad said the Congress is boycotting the event also because the NDA government is silent on several issues including growing unemployment.

Another Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said Congress governments passed many landmark legislations during their tenures but never held a midnight session like this.

Left parties have decided not to take part in the GST launch event on Friday. CPI leader D Raja today said that his party will not take part in the meeting in view of protest by small and medium scale entrepreneurs, traders, and informal sector workers on the way the GST is being implemented. CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said he will not attend the midnight meeting.

Meanwhile, Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu termed the Congress decision of boycotting tomorrow’s midnight function of GST launch at Central Hall of Parliament as unfortunate. Briefing reporters in New Delhi on Thursday , Mr Naidu said, all the decision regarding Goods and Services Tax were taken by consensus among the States and all political parties.

He said, it is beyond comprehension why the Congress is not attending the historic launch of the new indirect tax regime. Mr Naidu said, great enthusiasm is being seen among the countrymen and people are very happy about its rollout from 1st of next month.

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