Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anant Kumar, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad at an all-party meeting ahead of the monsoon session. (Photo: PTI)

Ahead of Monsoon Session, Oppn Takes on Centre at All Party Meet

In the all-party meeting ahead of the monsoon session, the Opposition has said that it will seek to corner the government for its “attempts to destabilise” states ruled by it and the Kashmir unrest in Parliament, but will also support measures like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill.

Leaders of several opposition parties spoke of developments in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand signalling their intent to train guns on the government.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad declared his party’s intent, saying that states no longer trusted the BJP-led government at the Centre.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with NCP Leader DP Tripathi and CPI leader D Raja after an all-party meeting ahead of the monsoon session, at Parliament House in New Delhi on Sunday, 17 July 2016. (Photo: PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with NCP Leader DP Tripathi and CPI leader D Raja after an all-party meeting ahead of the monsoon session, at Parliament House in New Delhi on Sunday, 17 July 2016. (Photo: PTI)

Modi, who joined the meeting later, thanked all parties for “speaking in one voice” on the developments in Kashmir and sought their support in the passage of the GST bill, saying it was of “national importance” and urged them to put national interests above everything else, sources said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters after the two-hour meeting that Parliament was a mahapanchayat where all issues could be raised.

He said the government would talk to all parties to evolve a consensus on the GST.

Our legislative business, including GST, is a priority. We want to see to that we pass the GST bill with consensus. We are going to take every party on board.
Ananth Kumar, Parliamentary Affairs Minister

Kumar downplayed the attacks of Congress, the Left and some other parties on the government over the Arunachal issue, saying different issues could be debated.

We have assured all parties that there will be open- mindedness and we are ready to discuss all issues
Ananth Kumar

Speaking to reporters, Azad accused the government of “using all tricks” to destabilise opposition-ruled governments and took potshots at Modi over his talk of cooperation between the Centre and states by pointing out that even a BJP ally like Akali Dal has attacked it over “undermining” states.

Though he did not refer to GST directly, he said the Congress will offer support to bills on merit.

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.
Ghulam Nabi Azad
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