In Amit Shah's Maiden Speech Today, Barbs For Congress Expected

In Amit Shah's Maiden Speech Today, Barbs For Congress Expected


NEW DELHI:  BJP president Amit Shah is expected to make his maiden speech in the Rajya Sabha today if a bill for the amendments to the Goods and Services Tax law, which has been fiercely attacked by the Congress during last month's Gujarat elections, is taken up by House for debate and voting.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi had made the rollout of the new tax, which he had labelled "Gabbar Singh Tax" after the iconic Bollywood baddie, the centrepiece of his party's election campaign in the hope of tapping into discontentment over the national tax reform. As the election results in Mr Shah's home state indicated, this Congress strategy clearly did not work. The BJP did well in urban centres including Patel and trader-dominated Surat where the BJP won 16 out of 17 seats. 

As the BJP's chief strategist rises to speak from his front-row seat on amending the law to allow for imposing compensation cess on intra-State and inter-State supply of goods and services on Thursday, a BJP leader said the Congress should expect a stinging rebuttal to its election campaign.

Mr Shah, who was elected to the Rajya Sabha in August last year, had made his parliamentary debut during the winter session.

He has been allocated the aisle seat right next to the two-seat block where Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Prime Minister Narendra Modi sit. The seat allotted to Mr Shah was previously occupied by M Venkaiah Naidu, who after being elected Vice President in August is now the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.

COMMENTSThe government has opted to take up the GST amendment bill, which replaces an executive order issued back in September, on Thursday after opposition parties joined hands to force the government to send the Triple Talaq bill to a parliamentary panel.

The government hasn't given in yet but it may not have much of a choice, given that it does not have the numerical superiority in the Rajya Sabha. The upper house was adjourned amid sloganeering and shouts as the ruling BJP objected to the manner in which the opposition moved the resolution to appoint a select committee to scrutinise the bill.

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