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Mayawati backs Centre on GST bill, then slams it over ‘intolerance’

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BSP chief Mayawati Monday supported the NDA government’s proposed legislation on the Goods and Services Tax (GST), but also slammed the ruling dispensation for “rising intolerance” in the country and questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the issue. Speaking in Rajya Sabha, Mayawati also took a dig at Modi’s meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh over tea to resolve the political deadlock over the GST bill. “You will not need to offer even a cup of tea or a glass of water (to me) for this,” she said.

Announcing her support to the GST bill, which is stuck in Rajya Sabha, Mayawati, who spoke for 66 minutes, said, “If your government is fully confident that bringing the GST bill is in the interest of the nation, it will bring a change in the economy and give a boost to it, the BSP will definitely back it. Our party supports the bill in Parliament.” She slammed MoS Gen (retd) V K Singh for his comments on the death of two Dalit children in Haryana. “Such a minister should be dropped from the Council of Ministers and sent to jail as such people deserve to be in jail and not in Parliament,” she said. V K Singh had drawn a parallel between the incident and someone throwing a stone at a dog. Participating in the debate on ‘Commitment to the Constitution’ in the upper house, Mayawati expressed concern over the condition of Scheduled Castes, OBCs and minorities, particularly Muslims. Referring to the Dadri lynching, she questioned the NDA government’s commitment to the Constitution, and dared the PM to take action against party colleagues for making “provocative” statements. Mayawati said an atmosphere of “intolerance, anarchy and extremism” is growing but the government is not paying heed. “People from the BJP and affiliated Hindu organisations keep on making controversial, undignified remarks. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi…keeps silent,” she told a packed Rajya Sabha. She did not spare the Congress either, attacking previous governments over their commitment to the welfare of Dalits. Without naming actor Aamir Khan, whose remarks on intolerance created a political storm, she said she holds the government more responsible for the row than the actor. However, she advised him not to think of leaving the country, but instead adopt the strategy adopted by B R Ambedkar to fight intolerance. She also pushed for reservation for Dalits and tribals in promotions in the government and private sector, and favoured quota for economically-backward sections. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi said a lot in his concluding remarks during the debate on Constitution (in Lok Sabha) on Friday. It would have been better if he had announced some decision to amend the Constitution for reservation to weaker sections of society in private sector and reservation for ST/SCs in promotion…(and) separate quota to the poor among the upper castes on the basis on their economic condition by amending the Constitution. But no such announcement was made,” she said. Referring to the statement made by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on the need to “review” the reservation policy, she threatened: “I am warning, if there is any such attempt from the government, I will take to the streets and hold a massive agitation. I will not allow any such attempt to succeed.” She claimed that when she headed a BSP-BJP coalition government in Uttar Pradesh over a decade ago, the BJP put pressure on her to pursue the “Hindutva agenda”. She also said the CBI was being “misused” to “harass” her in the Taj Corridor case.


– Source: The Indian Express http://indianexpress. com/article/india/india-news-india/mayawati-backs-govt-on-gst-bill-then-slams-it-over-intolerance/

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