Now, GST splits Grand Alliance in Bihar

Now, GST splits Grand Alliance in Bihar

Even as the Congress and the RJD have decided to boycott the June 30 midnight session in Central Hall of Parliament to launch the Goods and Services Tax (GST), one of the three ruling partners in Grand Alliance Government in Bihar – the JD (U) - will be part of the jamboree in New Delhi.

Though Chief Minister Nitish Kumar himself won’t attend the mega event, his trusted Cabinet colleague and Commercial Taxes Minister Bijendra Yadav will represent the State Government in the national capital.

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

“Nitish ji 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 Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers looking into the GST a few years back. Modi, who had taken over from Asim Dasgupta of Left Front, had mooted several new proposals. But Modi had to quit midway as chairman of the panel after he resigned as Bihar’s Finance Minister when JD (U) and BJP parted ways in June 2013,” the aide added.

Sushil Modi, who will also attend the midnight meet in New Delhi, on Friday lauded Nitish for his support and appealed to the Congress and the RJD not to oppose the GST as it was the biggest tax reforms since Independence.

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