Reaching out to the opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today sought its cooperation in the passage of GST bill even as it asserted that government will be targeted over developments in Arunachal Pradesh and Kashmir during Parliament’s Monsoon Session starting tomorrow.
As sparks are set to fly in Parliament over a range of issues, Modi also urged all the political parties to keep national interests above any other considerations. “We represent both the people and parties and there is a need to keep national interests above anything else”.
At an all-party meeting convened by the government a day before Parliament meets, Congress said it will support bills but based on merit but offered no assurance on the GST, saying it can take a stand only after the government gives it a “written draft” over concerns raised by it.
Noting that important Bills including the GST will be taken up during the session, Modi expressed the hope that there would be meaningful discussions and outcomes.
“The issue is not about which government would get the credit for introduction of GST but what was important is the passage of the Bill,” he said.
With the continuing protests in Kashmir following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani expected to generate heat in Parliament, Modi commended political parties for speaking in “one voice” over the issue.
“Various parties have given statements on Kashmir events which benefitted the country. This has sent a right message and I thank all the parties for the same,” he said.
The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said there should be a discussion in Parliament on the tense situation in Kashmir and that Government should provide an anwser.
The government’s unsuccessful NSG bid, floods in some states, agrarian crisis and terrorism were among the other main issues raised by opposition leaders at the meeting.
Azad accused the government of using every trick to destabilise states ruled run by other parties and referred to Arunachal developments and various chief ministers targeting the Centre at the Inetr-State Council meeting yesterday.
Though he did not refer to GST directly, he said the Congress will offer support to bills on merit.
“We have not taken any decision that we have to stop a bill. We will support on merit. We will support any bill which is in support of people, progress and growth,” he said.
Another Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said his party can take a stand only after it receives a written response from the government as he played down talks between its leaders and union ministers over the GST.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government will talk to all parties to evolve a consensus on the GST.
“Our legislative business, including GST, is a priority.
We want to see to that we pass the GST bill with consensus. We are going to take every party on board,” he said.