Toeing the Congress’ footsteps, Lalu Prasad-led Rashtriya Janata Dal too has decided against attending the special June 30 midnight meeting for nation- wide roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax. The JD(U), the RJD’s partner in Bihar, however, will attend the meeting. The RJD’s decision to boycott on Friday function in Delhi was announced by its president Lalu Prasad. Lalu Prasad, who is in Ranchi to attend a court hearing in a fodder scam case against him, said his party would keep away from the GST function in Delhi on Friday.
His close aide and Bihar MLA Bhola Yadav told PTI that the decision to keep away from the GST roll-out function was taken because the NDA government had tweaked the one taxation legislation from its original form in which it was approved in Parliament. The Congress has already announced its decision to skip the special midnight meeting of the Union government in New Delhi. “JD(U) is in support of the GST and Bihar Commercial Tax Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav, in most likelihood, would participate in the special GST function on Friday,” the party’s chief general secretary and national spokesman K C Tyagi said over phone.
“The JD(U) has not issued any whip to its members for participation in the GST midnight show and they are free to decide whether to attend it or not,” Tyagi said. Tyagi, however, is critical of the “pomp and show” accompanying the GST launch. All the three partners of the Grand Alliance had worked together with others to pass GST bill in both houses of the Bihar legislature last April.
Even on Friday the alliance government’s cabinet meeting, attended by ministers from the three parties, had approved a proposal to implement GST in the state from July 1. The different stands by Grand Alliance partners over the GST came about when the infighting over Nitish Kumar’s decision to support the NDA pick for presidential poll Ram Nath Kovind had just subsided following intervention by top leaders.