The Congress party has decided not to attend the special midnight function in Parliament on 30 June to roll-out the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Congress feels that the GST is being implemented in a haste and all aspects have not been taken into consideration leading to harassment of small traders and businessmen and thus, the party should abstain.
According to party sources, Congress President Sonia Gandhi deliberated on the issue with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, senior leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ahmed Patel and Jairam Ramesh on Thursday to take a final decision.
“The Congress has decided not to attend GST midnight session on June 30 in Parliament,” Congress’ Satyavrat Chaturvedi told ANI.
Earlier it was reported that former prime minister Manmohan Singh will share the dais. However, with his party deciding to boycott the event, sigh will not attend the midnight function.
Dr Singh and another former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular have been invited by the government to share the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee at the GST launch.
The Trinamool Congress has already decided not to attend the midnight programme as a mark of protest against the “unnecessary disastrous hurry” to roll out the pan-India tax regime.
Sources said the Trinamool Congress is keen that the Congress too adopt the same course.
According to sources, a section of the Congress is in favour of attending the function as GST is the party's brainchild, but another section feels the party should abstain to protest the way the tax regime is being implemented.
The GST will be launched at a function in the Central Hall of Parliament on 30 June.