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Centre-Opposition standoff stalls GST Bill

A visibly upset Finance Minister Arun Jaitley lashed out at the Congress saying it was against the country's economic growth.

Photo: Reuters Photo: Reuters

The government on Tuesday failed to push the key reform bill on Goods and Services Tax in the Rajya Sabha as the Congress and other opposition parties did not allow the House to function.

A visibly upset Finance Minister Arun Jaitley lashed out at the Congress saying it was against the country's economic growth. "The Congress' policies were a liability on the country when in power, and its policies remain a liability today," said Jaitley.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi hit back saying his party had been pushing the GST bill for the past seven years but the BJP, then in Opposition, had blocked it. The Congress has said it will not let Parliament function till Prime Minister Narendra Modi removes tainted BJP leaders, including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje for their links with fugitive Lalit Modi apart from Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan drawing criticism over the Vyapam scam.

Jaitley hit out at Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi saying they can't see anyone else rule the country. "They have taken the 2014 defeat badly. The Congress and their two top leaders are unable to accept that anyone outside the Gandhi family can rule India. It is high time that they accept it and drop their negative approach," Jaitley said.

The government is desperate to pass the GST Bill, which has been cleared by the Lok Sabha, as the monsoon session ends on August 13. "The Congress wants changes in the Bill, which it says must be more simple and comprehensive," Congress leader Anand Sharma said.

(In Association with Mail Today)