Congress rules out special session unless action against BJP leaders

New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) The Congress on Tuesday ruled out support to any proposal to convene a special session of parliament to pass the Goods and Services Tax bill, saying the government had not taken action against three BJP leaders whose resignations had been sought by it.

Briefing reporters after Congress Working Committee meeting here, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the party was in support of GST but the government should accept its amendments on the bill.

The government has been keen to convene to a special session of parliament to get the GST bill passed.

Azad said Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu had spoken to him but he had conveyed that the government had not taken action on the party’s demand for resignation of three Bharatiya Janata Party leaders – AExternal Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over their alleged help to former IPL chief Lalit Modi, who is facing Enforcement Directorate investigations.

The party has also demanded resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scam.

The monsoon session was washed out over the Congress demand for resignation of the BJP leaders.

“What I informed (Naidu) was that nothing has changed between now and monsoon session. The prime minister has failed to take action. What is the fun of having a special session,” Azad said.

He said action has not been taken action against even one of the three.

In the political resolution adopted at the CWC meeting, the Congress reiterated its commitment towards implementing GST, provided the government addresses “the existing shortcomings” in the bill.

The party said it was United Progressive Alliance government which first introduced the legislation in March 2011 but “which was vehemently opposed by the BJP at that point of time.”

Congress wants a cap on the GST rate at 18 percent, deletion of the provision which allows imposition of one percent tax by additional levy, an independent dispute resolution mechanism and compensation to panchayat and urban bodies for loss of revenue along with that to the states.

Azad said that changes demanded by the party were in the interest of the country.

–Indo-Asian News Session

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