Vendetta, GST talks can’t go together: Cong

NEW DELHI: Congress may take an aggressive line on parliamentary proceedings this week, with the party saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not appear interested in the GST bill. It also accused the PM of setting the Enforcement Directorate on the opposition just after resumption of engagement on policy issues.

“It is a breakdown now,” deputy leader of opposition Anand Sharma said.

Referring to the filing of an FIR against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda over allotment of a plot to National Herald, Sharma said, “A case of money laundering over allotment of a plot… The ED is being used like a municipal police station. For them, every case becomes one of money laundering. If the government wants a political battle, we are ready for it.”

“The government cannot say we are seeking consensus and then embark on a confrontation,” he said, adding, “There is no inch for us to give… that’s what they want… it is a confrontation between us and them.”

Any resumption of hostilities between Congress and the government may have a direct impact on the GST bill, the vexed tax reform on which the lead opposition only recently agreed to relent.
While steering clear of spelling out the fate of talks on GST, Sharma said, “I don’t think this PM is interested in GST being passed. Otherwise, his office would not have done this.”

The Congress strategy group, led by chief Sonia Gandhi, is likely to meet on Monday morning to decide the course of action in the House. According to members, the opposition has the Andhra Pradesh-related `private member bill as the readymade pretext for “aggressive action”

On Friday , Rajya Sabha’s second half was disrupted by protests by BJP over AAP MP Bhagwant Mann’s Parliament video and prevented the opposition from passing the private member bill seeking financial package for Andhra. Congress accused the government of staging the protest to stall the bill.