New Delhi: The Congress on Friday termed its skip of the midnight launching of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as an ideological boycott.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has convened a special sitting of the Parliament at the Central Hall tonight to witness the rollout of the new tax regime from Saturday.
The Congress on Thursday announced boycotting the midnight rollout of the GST and termed it Modi government's tamasha (drama) and 'publicity stunt'.
Senior Congress leader and former Cabinet Minister Anand Sharma that Congress' skip is an "ideological boycott" for many reasons.
He said that first and foremost objection is that the Modi government is attempting to take full credit of the GST.
The Congress leader said that when Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) had had brought the GST then only one chief minister had opposed it, who was then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
"If we did the same, then the GST would not have been implemented on Friday. Together, in all the states, the Congress Party has made its point in favor of the GST. But, now the ruling party is going to launch this national reform programme from Parliament like a one party programme.
"The Modi government has more faith in the drama and it is denying the role of other political parties including the Congress in the GST".
Defending its decision to skip Parliament's special midnight session tonight, Sharma called it an insult to 1947 and termed it as an ideological boycott.
"The midnight launch of the GST is an insult to 1947. On the night of August 14, Jawaharlal Nehru had made his famous 'tryst with destiny' speech in the Central Hall of Parliament, which effectively announced the independence of India from the British. After that, for the second time after the completion of 25 years of independence, then it was 50 years later," Sharma said.
He maintained that "the Congress has done many historical works during its tenure, but have we ever done such a programme in the central chamber?"
Sharma further briefed about the beginning of Goods and Services Tax (GST) exercise and the challenges that the country will face ahead....