GST rollout: Nitish Kumar to send JD(U) leaders to midnight session; rift with Lalu Prasad Yadav to widen

Bihar's commercial taxes and energy minister ​Bijendra Prasad Yadav has confirmed that JD(U) will take part in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) launch function scheduled for Friday. Yadav along with some other party leaders will attend the function.

Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar. PTI

Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar. PTI

Yadav confirmed that his party leader Nitish Kumar accepted the invitation of Union minister Arun Jaitley and instructed him to participate in the launch function.

After inaugurating a college in Samastipur, Nitish urged all political parties to support the GST and participate in the function. He said that GST is a "great tax reform which will benefit every state, including Bihar."

However, Nitish’s alliance partner Rashtirya Janata Dal (RJD) has decided to boycott the function along with the principal Opposition party Congress.

Senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh also appealed to the JD(U) to support the Opposition but Nitish decided to ignore his advice.

After a heated discussion between RJD, JD(U) and Congress over the choice of presidential candidate, problems in the relationship became visible when both Nitish and Lalu Prasad Yadav told their parties not to speculate over the future of Mahagathbandhan in the state.

But Nitish Kumar’s latest move has once again proved that all is not well within the grand alliance.

This move will further weaken his alliance with RJD as the latter has openly critcised him for supporting NDA's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind.

Apparently, Bihar was the first non-BJP ruled state to ratify the GST Bill and Nitish, while delivering a speech in the state Assembly, had termed this tax reform 'historic'.

JD(U)'s participation can be seen as a continuation of his support to BJP-led NDA government. He had previously supported the NDA government over the demonetisation issue, the surgical strike across the LoC, and crackdown on Benami properties. His tacit support to Modi precipitated fissures within the Mahagathbandhan, which surfaced soon after JD(U) decided to support Kovind for president.

Updated Date: Jun 29, 2017 18:55 PM

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