GST in the political veil

Rahul Gandhi is supposedly learning from the practical experience that being decent in the Parliament does not help in any way. The Congress party had supported the Insurance bill in the budget session of the parliament earlier this year. They were following the path of least resistance and found that they were not in any way appreciated for supporting the bill. The BJP who had blocked the insurance bill for years when it was in the opposition, took the entire credit for getting it passed in the Parliament.

Rahul Gandhi thus decided to follow the path set by BJP in the earlier years as opposition. He has taken to “obstructionism” as the right tactic for parliamentary affairs. He has found company in the young MPs of CPI (M) who are enjoying the campus politics with him on the floor of the house. Rahul Gandhi has begun to follow Narendra Modi, who opposed the GST bill during his 12 year of running the government in Gujarat. The obstructive policy is bringing the congress party in the limelight as against complete oblivion during the passage of Insurance bill.

The Modi led BJP government is lacking the floor management skills that the previous parliamentary affairs ministers like Kamal Nath and Pramod Mahajan had demonstrated effectively in their respective tenures. The ruling government‘s floor managers have not been able to take up the challenge and Congress was successful in its disruptive stance, leading to non-passage of the GST bill in the monsoon session.

The BJP’s last bit effort of roping in Mulayam Singh Yadav in support of the bill had also backfired when he reacted adversely to his praise by the PM in the BJP’s parliamentary party. Also the comment by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley dubbing Rahul Gandhi as “expert without knowledge” has hardly helped the cause of the ruling party. In a face saving attempt the BJP has been talking about a special sitting of the monsoon session to push the GST bill. The Congress has remained non-committal on supporting the GST bill amid talks of this special session.

The BJP team has taken to the task of educating the masses on how the congress is obsessed by the Gandhi family and Rahul’s lack of expertise. By this action they are only alienating the Congress further. The BJP seems optimistic about passing the GST bill by isolating the Congress and Left parties and going along with the regional parties like TMC, NCP, BJD, AIADMK and DMK. The Congress, Left and JD(U) add up to 90 seats in the 245 member house and unlikely to vote in favor. How the government is hoping for a two-third vote which is essential to pass the constitutional amendment remains a mystery?

The only plus point is that the BJP seems to be working on a strategy for the special session. Why it did not carry it out during the monsoon session is a big question mark? The BJP has resolved to implement GST from April 2016. If they are not able to push it through the special session, it will get delayed to the winter session, jeopardizing the April implementation deadline.

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