Venkaiah Naidu urges Congress to join GST launch
Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday again appealed to the Congress and other opposition parties to attend the midnight function in Parliament for the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Naidu said it was not right to say that the entire opposition was boycotting the event as many non-NDA parties like the AIADMK, Janata Dal-United, Biju Janata Dal, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, YSR Congress and Indian National Lok Dal were set to attending it.
The event will be held in the Central Hall of Parliament to coincide with the time of the GST rollout from July 1.
"I once again make an appeal to political parties, particularly the Congress party, to please join this combined effort... It is not a celebration, it is a revolutionary taxation transformation," Naidu said at India Today's Midnight Conclave on GST.
The Congress on Thursday announced it would boycott the GST rollout in Parliament on Friday night, saying the country was "ill-prepared" for its implementation and the Central Hall should not be used for such midnight events.
"I am making an appeal with folded hands, as one of the ministers, in the larger interest of the country to send a message to the people and also to the global community which is observing a country of India's size going for this taxation reform is really going to be historical moment. A country should be seen as one. Having voted together, having been part of the process of consultation, suddenly now you don't want to attend this function, please reconsider," he said.
Naidu also said the government had invited former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and H.D. Deve Gowda to speak at the joint session.
"Some people are not able to digest the fact that (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi is here to stay and is becoming more and more popular every day," he added.