Odisha Assembly session on GST today, Congress may raise Dana issue
BHUBANESWAR: Even though the Congress announced its support for the ratification of the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 for Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the special session of the Assembly convened on Thursday, the party will reiterate its demand for a cap on the tax rate.
The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) on Wednesday met to finalise its strategy for the special session. However, raising of the Dana Majhi incident in Kalahandi where he had to carry his dead wife on his shoulder for 10 km, death of children at Nagada and the killing of five persons in police firing at Gumudumaha cannot be ruled out.
“We are yet to take a formal decision in this regard. But raising these issues because of their seriousness cannot be ruled out,” Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra said after the CLP meeting.
The meeting of the BJD Legislature Party, which was scheduled to be held on Wednesday, has been deferred till Thursday. The BJPLP will also meet on Thursday. The Congress, however, criticised the State Government for not consulting the Opposition parties on the special session. “It is unfortunate that the State Government did not discuss anything on the special session with the Opposition,” Mishra said. He, however, said as per the stand taken by the national party, the Congress will support the ratification of the GST Bill in the session.
Stating that the GST Bill was introduced in Parliament in 2011 during the UPA government when Manmohan Singh was prime minister, Mishra said the BJP and its allies had opposed it tooth and nail and did not allow it to be passed.
After the NDA came to power, good sense prevailed and the Centre reintroduced the Bill in Parliament with several modifications. The Opposition parties, including the Congress, opposed the modifications, he said and added that a consensus emerged after Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally discussed the issue with the Opposition parties.
All the amendments brought by the Congress, except a cap on tax rate, was accepted by the Centre. The party will again raise the issue in the Assembly on Thursday, he said. The BJD, which has accepted the GST Bill, will raise the issue of delay in payment of compensation by the Centre to the State.