Uddhav Thackeray Speaks About Need To Review GST, Bats For Federalism
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. (Source: Office of Uddhav Thackeray/Twitter Handle)

Uddhav Thackeray Speaks About Need To Review GST, Bats For Federalism

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday said the country needs to think if the old tax regime was better than the Goods and Services Tax, and also expressed worry about `concentration' of power.

Speaking at a virtual meeting of chief ministers from opposition convened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Thackeray said the federal structure of the country must be protected.

"The GST share of states expected from the Centreis rising. I have been writing letters for expeditious release (of state's share). But since April we haven't got any. If we get reply, we don't get money," he said.

"We need to see if the old (tax) structure was good or if there is any middle path," he said.

The Shiv Sena chief, who is running a coalition government in Maharashtra with the NCP and Congress, put out a video of the meeting on his Twitter feed.

Also read: States’ Revenue Shortfall, Compensation To Be Discussed In GST Council Meet On Thursday

"If we are in opposition, it is not that we don't wish well for other political parties. We too are representatives of people. We also have rights," said Thackeray, who broke off his party's alliance with the BJP last year.

"(Former prime minister) Rajiv Gandhi introduced Panchayati Raj to usher in decentralization of power. Now all power is concentrated in one hand.

"Will it happen in future that state governments may not be needed and the entire country will be run by one person and we only toe the line -- this shall not happen," he said.

It was important to protect the federal structure of the countryas envisaged in the Constitution, Thackeray said.

"If we don't respect the Constitution, what is the use of democracy?" he asked.

On lifting of lockdown in Maharashtra, the chief minister said people may think that the process was slow, but as in the story of hare and tortoise, "no purpose is served in doing anything in a hurry".

Thackeray also mentioned that his government had demanded realignment of a proposed railway line connecting Vidarabhato Madhya Pradesh which passes through the Melghat sanctuary.

He also opposed conducting examinations at a time when the "coronavirus pandemic is rising".

"We have to raise our voice for people's issues and if it is being suppressed,we need to fight and not get scared," Thackeray said.

Also read: ‘Refusal’ By Centre To Pay GST Compensation To States Nothing Short Of Betrayal: Sonia Gandhi

The meeting was attended by Thackeray, Mamata Banerjee, Hemant Soren, Amarinder Singh, Ashok Gehlot, Bhupesh Baghel and V Narayanasamy.

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