The government was unable to introduce the crucial Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in the Rajya Sabha on Monday after the Congress and some other Opposition parties repeatedly stalled the proceedings of the House to demand the resignation of Roads and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Gadkari has come under fire from the opposition for his past association with a private company, linked to his family, which has found a mention in a recent report by the CAG allegedly for non-compliance of conditions to obtain a government loan.
In a statement in the Rajya Sabha, the minister claimed that the company, Purti Sakhar Karkhana Limited, had not indulged in any irregularities and the CAG report had not made any such allegation. Gadkari said the content of the CAG report was being twisted for political gains. “I want to tell the House that the CAG report has not made any charges of corruption or passed any adverse comment against me. There is no mention of any corruption or irregularity by the Purti Sakhar Karkhana as well,” he said.
Dissatisfied with his reply, members of the Opposition repeatedly stormed into the Well of the House and shouted slogans against the minister, leading to multiple adjournments.
“Our party is not satisfied with his answer at all, and he will have to resign,” said Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad.
The House was adjourned as many as eight times, before being adjourned for the day. Other than the passage of a corrected version of the Constitutional Amendment bill on Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh, the Opposition didn’t allow any major business to take place.
The Constitutional Amendment bill had been passed last week but some errors came to light and the corrected version had to be passed again by the Upper House.