Split wide open in Bihar grand alliance as JD(U) attends event

Split wide open in Bihar grand alliance as JD(U) attends event

 Even as the Congress and the RJD decided to boycott the midnight session in the Central Hall of Parliament to launch the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, the JD(U), part of the Grand Alliance government in Bihar, will be part of the jamboree in New Delhi.

Though Chief Minister Nitish Kumar won’t attend the mega event, his trusted Cabinet colleague and Commercial Taxes Minister Bijendra Yadav will represent the state.

This will be the second occasion in the last fortnight when the alliance partners have taken a divergent stand. The JD(U)’s support to the BJP candidate and former Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind on June 19 had almost split the Grand Alliance when the RJD backed the Opposition nominee Meira Kumar.

“Nitishji was always in favour of GST. Bihar was the second state after Telangana which ratified the GST Bill at a specially convened session of the state legislature,” said a close aide of the chief minister.

“Nitish Kumar always favoured passage of GST Bill right from its inception. His former deputy, Sushil Modi, who, by virtue of being the finance minister of Bihar, was also the chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers looking into the GST a few years ago.

Sushil Modi, who had taken over from Asim Dasgupta of the Left Front, had mooted several new proposals. But he had to quit midway as chairman of the panel after he resigned as Bihar’s finance minister when the JD(U) and the BJP parted ways in June 2013,” the aide added.

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