The Congress fielded Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal and Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda at the party headquarters in Delhi last Friday to take on the Centre over difficulties faced by the states in the first month after the rollout of GST. At the GST Council meeting chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday, however, both Badal and Gowda went with the consensus. Given the fact that the GST Council has so far worked on the convention of consensus, the two Congress-ruled state representatives’ stance has left many wondering whether the Opposition party parachuted them to Delhi with partisan motives. The move appears to have gone in vain.
All may not go well for the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre in the coming months. Offshoots of the RSS have so far been mild on the government after the Sangh had asked them not to embarrass the government. But the Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), the trade union wing of the RSS, has decided to protest against the central government’s labour policies. A meeting of BMS office-bearers on Sunday decided to organise a massive rally in New Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan with workers from different parts of the country. The BMS has serious differences with the government over labour reforms, disinvestment in profit-making public sector undertakings and contractualisation of workforce.
Pain Of Broken Panes
Officials at Nirman Bhawan, which houses, among others, the ministries of Health and Urban Development, were in for a shock on Monday morning: they found windows of three rooms on two floors broken, and a boulder inside one of the rooms. While there is concern about the security of the building and of important items in the offices, a guessing game was on to figure out whether it was a security breach or damage caused by construction work on the upper floors. In one of the damaged rooms, monkeys appeared to have chewed up the mouse of a computer.