Modi Thanks All For One Stand On Kashmir Issue, Looking Forward To Pass The GST Bill
Reaching out to the Opposition on the eve of the monsoon session of Parliament starting Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought its cooperation in ensuring the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill and commended all parties for speaking in “one voice” on Kashmir which has been rocked by protests over the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
At an all-party meeting Sunday, Modi welcomed remarks by Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, who said no issue was more topical today than that of Kashmir. Agreeing with calls for a discussion on the Kashmir situation, the Prime Minister said: “Various parties have given statements on Kashmir events which benefited the country. This has sent a right message and I thank all the parties for the same.”
Noting that important Bills including the GST will be taken up during the session, Modi expressed the hope that there will be meaningful discussions and outcomes.
Azad later told reporters: “We have not taken any decision that we have to stop a Bill. We will support on merit. We will support any Bill which is in support of people, progress and growth.”
The government and Congress may resume their discussions on the Bill on Tuesday. “We have assured all parties that there will be open-mindedness and we are ready to discuss all issues,” Azad said.
The Prime Minister’s appeal on GST came close on the heels of talks between senior ministers and parliamentary leaders of the Congress.
Sudip Bandyopadhyay of Trinamool Congress reiterated his party’s long-standing support for the GST Bill which is a manifesto commitment of the party. BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab also supported the GST Bill.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge urged the government to have the same “give-and-take” attitude with the Opposition in running the Lower House.