GST bill: PM Narendra Modi reaches out to Opposition, says 'keep national interest above anything else'
Monsoon Session of Parliament is beginning from Monday.
New Delhi: On the eve of the Monsoon Session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged all the political parties to keep national interest above any other considerations.
Speaking at an all-party meeting convened by the government and seeking the cooperation of the government in the passage of GST bill, he said, ‘‘We represent both the people and parties and there is a need to keep national interests above anything else,” and added, "The issue is not about which government would get the credit for introduction of GST but what was important is the passage of the bill."
With the continuing protests in Kashmir following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani expected to generate heat in Parliament, the PM commended political parties for speaking in "one voice" over the issue.
"Various parties have given statements on Kashmir events which benefitted the country. This has sent a right message and I thank all the parties for the same," he said.
Responding to suggestions from some leaders for increasing the sittings of Parliament, PM Modi said he welcomed the suggestion and urged leaders to ensure proper utilisation of the available time.
Meanwhile, the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said that there should be a discussion in Parliament on the tense situation in Kashmir and that government should provide an answer.
The government's unsuccessful NSG bid, floods in some states, agrarian crisis and terrorism were among the other main issues raised by Opposition leaders at the meeting.
Azad accused the government of using every trick to destabilise states ruled run by other parties and referred to Arunachal developments and various chief ministers targeting the Centre at the Inter-State Council meeting yesterday.
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," he said, as per PTI.
Another Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said his party can take a stand only after it receives a written response from the government as he played down talks between its leaders and union ministers over the GST.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government will 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," he said.
(With Agency inputs)