BJP issues whip, asks MPs to be present in Parliament for rest of Winter Session

New Delhi, Dec. 15 : With the opposition leaving no stone unturned in blocking the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in the Parliament, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday issued a whip to its members to be present in both the houses for the next few days of the Winter Session.

“The party has issued whip in both the houses and has asked all the members to be present in the house for the coming days,” said Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi after a meeting of the BJP parliamentary board.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earlier said that the Winter Session of Parliament, which had started with much promise of a negotiation between the government and the opposition, was “threatened with a washout” which diminished significantly the chances of the passage of the Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2014.

Jaitley made the remark in a blog post he released right after a meeting between leaders of the government and the Congress.

“The last session of Parliament did not function. The current session is also threatened with a washout. The reasons for the washout of the current session keep changing by the hour. The nation is waiting for the Parliament to discuss public issues, to legislate and approve a historic Constitution Amendment enabling the GST,” he said.

“All this is being indefinitely delayed. The question we need to ask ourselves is, “are we being fair to ourselves and this country?” he added.

Naqvi also lashed out at Congress and held the grand old party responsible for the logjam in both houses of Parliament.

The GST that seeks to replace all indirect taxes, with a uniform levy has already been approved by the Lok Sabha.

The GST Bill is listed for discussion and passage in the Rajya Sabha where the NDA does not have a majority, and as a constitutional amendment bill it needs the support of two-third of the House. (ANI)