Amid GST parleys, Panda’s tweets provide a peek into Parliament’s central hall1 min read . Updated: 28 Jul 2016, 05:00 PM IST
Panda say Congress Party playing hardball over GST, but has almost agreed
New Delhi: “#HeardInCentralHall The party holding up #GST has almost agreed, but is sending conflicting signals so that govt sweats till the last minute," tweeted Baijayant Jay Panda, Biju Janata Dal (BJD)’s Lok Sabha member on Thursday afternoon, a day when hectic parleys were on between the government and opposition leaders over the passage of the goods and services tax (GST) bill.
The constitutional amendment bill to roll out GST is expected to be the biggest economic reform push by the government in this session with the Congress party continuing to play hardball. While the government has been talking to Congress leaders, information flow from both the sides has been very limited and Panda’s tweets are acting as a sneak peek into what is going on in Parliament’s central hall.
The limits to revealing information can be seen from the fact that the government did not release any official statement after Wednesday’s crucial cabinet decision to drop the additional 1% tax on supply of goods, one of the key demands by the Congress party.
To be sure, this is not the first time Panda has put out a tweet which throws light on behind-the-scenes developments in Parliament, particularly on GST. On 19 July, he wrote: “#HeardInCentralHall Q: Is #GST happening? A (an oppn RS MP): we’re in talks Q: Yes or no? A: Almost yes, unless (a certain govt MP) again..."
Apart from GST, Panda has also been using this hashtag to give constant updates during Parliament sessions since February last year including those on new members of Parliament and party strategies. He has an active Twitter account @PandaJay with 1,85,000 followers. He is on the micro blogging site since July, 2011.
Central Hall is the ‘centre and focus’ of the Parliament building and has three axes to Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and Library Hall and garden courts in between, according to the Parliament website.