Public pressure & not intent made PM Modi invite us for GST talks: Rahul Gandhi

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NEW DELHI: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Friday said “public pressure” forced Prime Minister Narendra Modi to invite Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh to tea to iron out their differences over the GST Bill.

“The move by the PM is due to public pressure and does not reflect this government’s intent,” the Congress leader told reporters in Parliament. On being asked if the government agrees to Congress’ conditions on GST bill, Rahul said, “Probably”.

“We have our differences but we want the GST to be passed. We want to put a cap on tax. We want to ensure the poor don’t suffer. We (Congress) are the ones who brought GST and are in favour of it,” Rahul said.

On Friday, reaching out to main opposition, the PM invited the UPA chairperson and Manmohan Singh for tea this evening in an attempt to break the deadlock over the GST Bill.

Modi invited the Congress leaders at his Race Course Road residence at 7 pm, sources said.

This move assumes significance as the government and the Congress are at loggerheads over the legislation.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had yesterday said that the Prime Minister is willing to speak to everyone to get the landmark indirect tax law through.

Jaitley, who needs Parliament approval for GST Bill in the winter session to roll out the new indirect tax regime as planned from April 1, said he has spoken to “almost all Congress leaders” on the issue.

“We have absolutely no hesitation even at the level of Prime Minister. We have never had in it in the past, we don’t have it (now). He is willing to speak to everyone,” he had said.

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