Oppn stays away from launch

Oppn stays away from launch

Oppn stays away from launch

 The Opposition said that the haste in rolling out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is another evidence of the government's inability to address crucial concerns, especially in the agriculture sector.

Amid protests across the country, the Opposition parties have decided to skip the midnight rollout of the new tax regime at Parliament’s central hall.

“We cannot attend such celebrations when people are protesting against GST,” CPI leader D Raja told DH. “The government is in a haste (in rolling out GST) and is not addressing concerns raised on a variety of issues.”

A source said the Opposition anticipates bottlenecks in implementing GST and it must be prepared to make the most of the public anger over the government’s haste. Moreover, its boycott of the midnight meeting will not reflect badly since it would register its protest on a host of issues like farmer suicide, lynching, price rise and unemployment.

A big let-down for the Opposition though is the decision by NCP chief Sharad Pawar and the JD(U) to attend the meeting. Pawar and the JD(U)’s representative will be joined by the Samajwadi Party, which, despite its opposition to GST, would not like to kick up a controversy by skipping a meeting attended by the President.

The Congress, Trinamool Congress, the DMK, the RJD and the Left parties have taken a firm decision to stay away from the celebrations, while the CPM avoided the word "boycott" and is merely saying that its members are unlikely to participate.
The JD(U) echoed the Congress’ criticism of the midnight meeting by saying that the three meetings held so far concerned the country’s Independence.

The Parliament’s central hall hosted the first midnight meeting in 1947 to mark the country’s Independence. Similar meetings in 1972 and 1997, respectively, marked the silver and golden jubilees of Independence.

The CPM has also allowed former West Bengal finance minister and chairman of the empowered committee on GST Asim Dasgupta to attend the midnight celebrations.