New Delhi: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Friday broke ranks with the opposition on GST, stating that it would attend the government’s midnight launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime tonight.
Justifying its divergent position from that of most opposition parties, senior NCP leader Tariq Anwar said his party had supported the legislation during its passage and there was no reason for it to skip the function, to be held in the central hall of Parliament.
NCP supremo Sharad Pawar would be present at the mega event, which is expected to be attended by actor Amitabh Bachchan and industrialist Ratan Tata, among others.
Yesterday, the Congress, in an all-out attack on the government, called the event a “grand self-promoting tamasha (gimmick)". Apart from the Congress, opposition parties such as the Left, the RJD and the Trinamool Congress have declared their intention to skip the function.
Former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular), however, said he would attend the programme.
The Congress also accused the NDA government of “insulting" India’s freedom struggle, as the previous three midnight functions held in the central hall were events related to the country’s independence.
“We agree with the Congress to an extent, but we supported the legislation when it was introduced (in Parliament and state assemblies). The party has, hence, decided to attend the midnight meeting," Anwar told PTI.
The NCP is supporting Meira Kumar, the opposition candidate for presidential poll.