Nitish Kumar to Send Minister for GST Launch, Opposition Divided
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is planning to sent his minister to the launch of GST on Friday midnight despite the move by all Opposition parties to boycott the event, thus signalling a further rift with his Mahagathbandhan allies.
File photo of PM Narendra Modi and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.
New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is planning to send his minister to the launch of GST on Friday midnight despite the move by all Opposition parties to boycott the event, thus signalling a further rift with his Mahagathbandhan allies.
After inaugurating a college in Samastipur, Nitish Kumar said all political parties should support GST and participate in launch function as this is a great tax reform which will benefit every state including Bihar.
State commercial tax minister and Janata Dal (U) MLA, Vijendra Prasad Yadav, will lead a small delegation to Delhi and attend the special midnight session of Parliament. Yadav has confirmed that his party leader decided to accept the invitation of Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and had instructed him to participate in the launch function.
By participating in the event, Nitish is going against the wishes of his alliance partners Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress, both of whom are boycotting the event. Senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh even appealed to JD(U) to be part of the opposition but apparently Nitish once again decided to ignore his advice.
This comes at a time of thaw, after the no-holds-barred exchanges between RJD, JD(U) and Congress over the choice of presidential candidates. Both Kumar and Yadav told their leaders not to speculate over the future of the mahagathbandhan in the state, but the latest move has once again proved that all was not well within the grand alliance.
Bihar was the first non-BJP ruled state to ratify the GST bill and Nitish Kumar, while delivering speech in the Assembly, had termed this tax reform as historic. It was in continuation of his support to BJP led NDA government over surgical strike on Pakistan, on demonetisation and over crackdown on benami properties.
Trouble in the coalition heaven called Bihar Mahagathbandhan began two months ago when Lalu Prasad Yadav went around meeting a few top BJP leaders in New Delhi, forcing Nitish Kumar to start thinking of a split.
Nitish, his loyalists affirm, is now only waiting for an opportune time to quit the grand alliance that had come together so dramatically in 2015 to defeat BJP in the assembly polls.
An announcement in this regard could come soon as the JDU supremo has made up his mind to steer clear of the political muck surrounding the RJD founder and his family after a series of raids by the Enforcement Directorate and the I-T Department on cases including money laundering.
“The grand alliance cannot be saved…We were much more comfortable with the BJP,” Rajya Sabha MP and JDU spokesperson K C Tyagi told News18. Senior JDU leader Shivanand Tiwari echoed Tyagi’s words: “JDU has no say in this alliance.”
BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Modi said he was not surprised that the Mahagatbandhan was on the verge of collapse. “From Day One, we knew that this kind of alliance cannot sustain for five years. We thought it will go on for at least 2-3 years, but so much bickering has been happening since beginning,” he told News18.
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