NEW DELHI:Even as the embittered blame game between the BJP-led NDA Government and the Opposition/Congress continued over the wasted Monsoon session of Parliament, the latter sounded noncommittal on supporting the Goods and Service Tax Bill in case the former convenes a special session for its enactment.
While Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said that his party has come to know about such a special session plan from the newspapers, Congress Leader in the Lok Sabha, Malliarjun Kharge said the government had not made any serious efforts to break the Parliamentary logjam as “it could not muster the numbers required to pass the GST’’ in the Upper House. Interestingly, the government has a comfortable majority in the Lower House of which Kharge is a member. It, however, lacks the majority in the Upper house.
The GST, which is a Constitutional amendment, will require the support of two-thirds of the members in both the Houses. Making a political point, that underscored the lack communication between the Treasury and the main Opposition, Azad said on the special session, “Courtesy demands, democracy demands that Opposition should be taken into confidence if government has any such plans. When it is officially announced, we will take a call.’’
The Congress may have a problem openly opposing the Bill, in case a special session is convened to just legislate GST. But replying to a volley of questions at a joint press meet with Kharge, on whether the Congress would support the GST, Azad was rather non-committal.