New Delhi: The Opposition said it would seek to corner the government for its "attempts to destabilise" Congress-ruled states and the Kashmir unrest when the Monsoon Session of Parliament begins from Monday. However, the parties said they would also support the GST Bill, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said was of "national importance".
At an all-party meeting one day before the Monsoon Session, leaders of several opposition parties spoke of developments in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand to signal their intent to train guns on the government, with Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad saying the states no longer trusted the Centre.
Modi, who joined the meet later, thanked all the parties for "speaking in one voice" on the developments in Kashmir and sought their support in the passage of the GST Bill, saying it was of "national importance". He also urged them to keep national interests above everything else, sources said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters after the two-hour meeting that Parliament was a
"mahapanchayat" where all issues could be raised. He said the government will talk to all parties to evolve a consensus on the GST.
"Our legislative business, including GST, is a priority. We want to see to that we pass the GST bill with consensus. We are going to take every party on board," he said.
Kumar downplayed the attacks of Congress, the Left and some other parties on the government over the Arunachal issue, saying different issues can be debated. "We have assured all parties that there will be open-mindedness and we are ready to discuss all issues," he said.
Speaking to reporters, Azad accused the government of "using all tricks" to destabilise opposition-ruled governments
and took potshots at Modi over his talk of cooperation between the Centre and states by pointing out that even a BJP ally like Akali Dal has attacked it over "undermining" states.
Though he did not refer to GST directly, he said the Congress will offer support to bills on merit. "We have not taken any decision that we have to stop a bill. We will support on merit. We will support any bill which is in support of people, progress and growth," he said.