Opposition unity cracks; JDU, NCP, SP, BSP take GST plunge
Ruptures in the opposition emerged shortly after 17 parties joined hands to put up a joint candidate against the NDA nominee for the presidential election.
What first signalled cracks in opposition unity was a tweet in which NCP leader Praful Patel criticised those boycotting the event. After the parties unanimously clearing the GST Bill in Parliament and state governments approving it, “why so much fuss over the launch function”, Patel wrote. NCP, which had attended a recent meeting of 17 opposition parties, has decided to back UPA nominee Meira Kumar in the presidential polls.
By the afternoon, it was clear that SP has agreed to attend the launch function. BSP is likely to send its representative. “Rajya Sabha MP Veer Singh may attend the function,” a party source told ET.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has selected Vijendra Yadav, commercial tax minister in the state, to represent JDU. Sources said Kumar’s decision to stay away from the function has much to do with avoiding further embarrassment for the ruling Grand Alliance. His decision to back NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind in the presidential polls has created an embarrassing situation for allies.
Although AIADMK has not announced any boycott, party leaders may not be part of GST launch in view of their presence at a different function in Tamil Nadu.