Prime Minister Narendra Modi has joined the issue with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, two days after the latter criticised the Modi-led government of “flip-flops” and even dubbing most of the poll promises as “hawabaazi” or empty talk. Addressing the BJP workers and party cadres in Bhopal on the occasion of Vishwa Hindi Sammelan, PM raised the pitch retorting back to the Congress party.
“Hawalabaaz are disturbed due to government’s tough stance on black money… The land beneath them is slipping away,” the Prime Minister said in a seeming direct reply to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
Earlier on Tuesday, presiding over the top decision making body of the Congress party — Congress Working Committee (CWC) — in New Delhi, Sonia Gandhi had said, “It has become painfully clear that most of the promises by PM during poll campaign were nothing more than hawabaazi”.
“Prime Minister has been reduced to unedifying flip-flops creating confusion on what he really stands for,” Sonia Gandhi had said in her opening remarks at the CWC meeting.
Back in Bhopal, the Prime Minister also took on the principal Opposition party for its stand on the all-important Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill. The crucial constitutional amendment legislation, which the incumbent was extremely keen to pass in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament, has hit the roadblock due to Congress party’s stern opposition.
The Prime Minister also squarely blamed the Congress party for his government’s decision to prorogue the monsoon session, hence abandoning any hopes of holding a special session to deliberate upon the GST Bill.
“We had not prorogued the Monsoon Session with the hope that the opposition party will take into account the hopes and aspirations of the country. But they did not accept and finally with a heavy heart and sadness, we had to decide to prorogue the session yesterday,” he added in Bhopal where he’ll be inaugurating the Vishwa Hindi Sammelan (World Hindi Conference) later in the day.
Earlier on Wednesday, while speaking at the ‘India Summit 2015’ organised by UK-based Economist magazine, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley too had criticised the Congress party for its stand on the GST Bill.
“The date today doesn’t seem to be under my control because of obstructionism of Congress, but hopefully sooner or later it will be passed and we will have a much easier indirect tax regime,” Arun Jaitley said adding that the BJP-led NDA government wants to implement the bill by April 1, 2016.
While, on its part, the Congress party sought to dismiss Modi government’s claims of dubbing the principal opposition party as “obstructionist”, reiterating its “commitment” towards implementing GST. However, the party leaders said that they will only support the legislation if the incumbent BJP-led NDA government addresses the “existing shortcomings” in the bill.
“We are for the passage of GST if our amendments, which are in national interest are accepted,” Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad had said.
The recently concluded Monsoon Session of the Parliament saw heightened impasse between the opposition and the government over the issue of Lalit Modi controversy and a massive recruitment and admission ‘Vyapam’ scam of Madhya Pradesh. In an unprecedented development, the ruling NDA combine had even taken out a protest march against the opposition, especially the Congress party, on the last day of the Monsoon session over the latter’s in-house protest.