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PM Narendra Modi rues Rajya Sabha not passing GST, says states would have benefited

"Bihar would benefit from GST, Uttar Pradesh would benefit from GST. Barring one or two states, all states would have benefited from GST," he said.

Updated: May 14, 2016, 02.01 AM IST
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PM's GST barb at Opposition as 53 Rajya Sabha MPs retire
NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha witnessed some light moments during the farewell of 53 members who will retire by July even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the occasion to rue that the crucial Goods and Services Tax Bill could not be passed and some parties expressed their concern over the growing interference of judiciary in Parliamentary affairs.

PM Narendra Modi rues Rajya Sabha not passing GST, says states would have benefitedThough some of the retiring MPs were away campaigning in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the Upper House bid a fond farewell to others with the hope that many of the 53 members will either be reelected or continue with public service in some capacity.

Giving his good wishes to the retiring members, Prime Minister Modi said, “There will definitely be remorse in your minds, especially from the perspective of welfare of the states that you represent here, that it would have been a matter of pride for you had two achievements had been made in your presence.

One is GST, from which Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and most states, except one or two, would have had immense benefits.” The second Bill he referred to is Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) Bill.

Deputy Leader of the Congress Anand Sharma countered this later, saying when his party was in power the GST Bill could not be passed due to hurdles and lack of consensus with the BJP.

He suggested that there is a need to work towards doing away with the “bitterness” that has crept into political discourse in recent times. SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav and BSP Chief Mayawati expressed concern over the growing interference of the jurdiciary in legislative issues, a matter that has troubled the ruling NDA in the past two years.

“The judiciary is making an unnecessary interference and encroachment on our rights. The Constitution has given us the power to make laws and the budget.

How the budget is to be prepared and what money allocation is to be done will be decided by the Parliament,” Yadav said. He suggested that the government should take the lead in giving serious thought to this meddling by the judiciary in parliamentary matters. Mayawati, however, took a different view and underlined that to prevent the judiciary from taking advantage from the differences among political parties, they themselves should first look within. “If the government and the opposition will not move ahead keeping the Indian Constitution and democracy in mind and bring in politics instead then I feel the judiciary will take advantage. We should put politics aside on some issues,” Mayawati said.

But most of the speakers struck a light note in their farewell speech. Some like Kanak Lata Singh (SP) got emotional.

KC Tyagi (JD-U) said as a former political prisoner, he gets Rs 10,000 as pension and would be getting Rs 20,000 now as a former parliamentarian. He asked Leader of the House Arun Jaitley, whom he described as one who has made a lot of money from his legal practice, to be good to old friends like him. Sukhendu Shekhar Roy (TMC) recalled a Hindi movie song, “Oh jaane wale, ho sake to laut ke aana.” Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Ghulam Rasool Balyawi (JD-U) were among the few who resorted to shayari to drive home their point. Jairam Ramesh (Congress) tookdigs at Leader of the House Arun Jaitley and accepted that the two has been “sparring partners” for long. He alleged that Jaitley is a master at spinning facts.

Using cricket analogy, Ramesh said, “All I can say is that he combines in him the guile of Bedi, the flight of Prasanna, the length of Venkataraghavan and the shooters of Chandrasekhar.

There have been very few spinners like him.”

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