After TMC, Cong, Left & DMK to skip GST launch
Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will not be at the high table in parliament's Central Hall when the mega reform Goods and Services Tax (GST) is launched at midnight on Friday. His party the Congress has said it is boycotting the event organised by the government.
Party's senior spokesperson Satyavrat Chaturvedi said: "the Congress will not attend the special GST meeting on GST implementation."
The decision came after Congress President Sonia Gandhi met former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with other leaders on Thursday.
Trinamool Congress has already announced its decision to boycott the event.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said her party TMC will not attend the GST roll-out programme on June 30 midnight as she flayed the "unnecessary hurry" to roll it out.
The TMC supremo termed the GST roll-out as another "epic blunder" by the Centre.
Sources said Congress leaders weighed its options as a group within the party felt that the GST was the party's brainchild that has been now taken over by the ruling BJP, and thus favoured attending the special meeting.
Sources also say that the Congress was apparently irked with Modi trying to emulate India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's midnight "tryst with destiny" speech on the eve of Independence.
The Left parties will also not take part in the special midnight meeting on June 30 convened by the government to launch the Goods and Services Tax (GST), CPI leader D Raja said on Thursday.
The DMK also decided to boycott the GST event, and a senior leader of the party TKS Elangovan said: "It is only a function to announce a new tax law. Such fanfare function was not held earlier when banks and insurance companies were nationalised and several other landmark bills were passed."
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday asked opposition parties such as Congress and the Left to reconsider their decision to skip the midnight GST launch on Friday saying they were all consulted on the indirect tax reform and cannot run away from it.