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Mamata First Oppn Leader to Pull Out of Midnight Parliament Session on GST

The Trinamool Congress will not attend the special midnight Parliament session convened to mark the rollout the Goods and Services Tax (GST), party supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:June 28, 2017, 8:14 PM IST
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New Delhi: The Trinamool Congress will not attend the special midnight Parliament session convened to mark the rollout the Goods and Services Tax (GST), party supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday. In a Facebook post, Banerjee called GST “another epic blunder of the Centre”. “We are deeply concerned about GST implementation. After demonetisation, this unnecessary disastrous hurry is another epic blunder of the Centre. We have been for GST from the beginning but are very worried now with the way the Central Government is going ahead with the implementation.”

“Our repeated suggestions to take some more time to properly implement GST have fallen on deaf ears. The entire business community, especially the small and medium ones, are scared and confused. Only 60 hours are left before this ill planned launch and no one knows for sure what's happening!”



“Essential commodities such as medicines are not available in many places and prices of various commodities are rising for lack of clarity and mismanagement. We have always been fighting for maintaining the federalist structure of the country, even if Bengal at times was the lone voice and conscience of the GST Council.”

Mamata’s decision to skip the session comes as the other opposition parties face a similar dilemma. Sources said that though a final call has not been taken, the parties are likely to give the midnight session a miss. The reason they said is that opposition parties did not like the way the invitation was extended. Sources in the Trinamool Congress, the Left, and the Congress had told CNN-News18 that the letter of invitation by parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar was sent to the MPs individually. The norm, they said, is to address it to party leaders only.

ALSO READ | To Attend or Not to Attend: Opposition in Dilemma Over Midnight GST Launch

Also, the last line of the letter reads, “It gives me great pleasure to request your gracious presence on the historical occasion of the launch of GST by the honourable Prime Minister, in the presence of the President of India.”

The Congress faces a dilemma as it has vociferously claimed that GST was its brainchild and is only being carried forward by the NDA government. Skipping the launch event would weaken this claim. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has also sent a personal invite to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, further complicating matters for the party.

| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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