Shiv Sena, Congress reluctant on backing GST bill


BJP ally Shiv Sena is refusing to back the current GST bill with a view that it is not in the interest of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) while the Congress insiders have indicated that it will not be passed in the current session of Parliament.

According to sources, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has already conveyed his party’s concerns to the Centre. Finance minister Arun Jaitley is said to have assured the Shiv Sena MPs that their concerns would be addressed.

According to the Shiv Sena MPs, GST should make a provision that at least Rs 8,000 core should be allocated to the BMC directly or the state government should not divert funds to other projects.

They said the BMC’s income from octroi is Rs 7 to 7,500 crore. Besides, the municipal corporation spends an equal amount on civic services and maintenance. The Shiv Sena’s strength in Parliament is 21 (18 members in the LS and three in the RS). The Shiv Sena has been taking an independent stand on key issues despite being part of the NDA. Besides, it had fielded candidates in the Bihar Assembly elections against the BJP-led front and has decided to fight the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, to be held in early 2017, on its own.

Meanwhile, the Congress’ younger generation is against GST at a time when the party’s senior leaders and former Union ministers are yet to take a convincing stand on it. “We are not here to play the constructive role of Opposition, but to take on the Modi government. A soft approach could kill the fighting spirit in the workers. Narendra Modi has come to power by reviving this spirit among the BJP workers on the slogan of Congress-mukt Bharat,” said a young Congress MP.

He added that the Trinamul Congress, Samajwadi Party, JD(U)-RJD, BJD — which are in power in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa — and the NCP and the BSP may back the bill, but the Congress should not.


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