New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his intervention in the Lok Sabha on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, credited the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the passage of the bill unanimously by both houses of Parliament.
While he thanked all opposition parties for their support to the bill, he compared the bill to Lord Krishna and said that while GST was ideated by someone, it was made a reality by someone else -- a reference to the fact that it had been conceived by the Congress and its passage was overseen by the NDA.
In Hindu mythology, Krishna is the son of Devaki and is brought up by foster-mother Yashoda.
“It is a true saying that someone gives birth and someone else nurtures. Someone gave birth to Krishna and someone else made him big but this is also a truth that this is not a victory of any political party or any government. This is a victory of the great traditions of India’s democracy,” Modi said in his address to the Lok Sabha during the discussion for consideration and passage of the GST bill.
“This is a victory of all political parties. This is a result of the contributions of past and present governments and I do not think there is a need for debate on who has won and who has lost,” he added.
He went on to talk about the earlier years when he was the chief minister of Gujarat and held several discussions with then Union finance minister, now President Pranab Mukherjee, on doubts over the legislation.
The Prime Minister’s remarks are significant given that the Congress party, throughout the past few months and in the run-up to supporting the bill in Parliament, has repeatedly stressed that the constitutional amendment bill to roll out GST was “Congress’ idea” and that it was the party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), which was the ‘original author’ of the legislation.
Modi’s reference to someone ideating it and someone else giving it a final shape also points to the fact that it is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA which finally pushed for the landmark legislation and got it passed unanimously by both Houses of Parliament.
“And hence, GST means Great Step by Team India, GST means Great Step Towards Transformation, GST means Great Step Towards Transparency and therefore we are going through a new system now,” he added.
On Monday, the Lok Sabha and eventually Parliament passed the 122nd constitution amendment bill. The action will now shift to the states as the government seeks to get the Bill ratified by a majority of the states within the next one month to stay on course for its 1 April 2017 deadline in implementing the tax reform.