Jaitley quotes Nehru to get Congress on board GST
In a bid to step up pressure on Congress over repeated disruption of Parliament, finance minister Arun Jaitley apprehended a "washout" of the winter session, and quoted from Jawaharlal Nehru's speech in Parliament to argue that the main opposition was not being mindful of the legacy of its own leaders.
Referring to Congress's disruption of Parliament after an adverse high court ruling in the National Herald case, the finance minister wrote in his post on social media, "The last session of Parliament did not function. The current session of Parliament is also threatened with a washout. The reasons for the washout of the current session keep changing by the hour."
Jaitley quoted a speech on the importance of the parliamentary system delivered by Nehru on March 28, 1957 -- the last day of the first Lok Sabha - which he said was "a must read for all of us" and added, "Those who claim the legacy of Panditji must ask themselves the question, what kind of history are they making."
He quoted Nehru to say, "Here, we have sat in this Parliament, the sovereign authority of India, responsible for the governance of India. Surely, there can be no higher responsibility or greater privilege than to be a member of this sovereign body which is responsible for the fate of the vast number of human beings who live in this country.
"All of us, if not always, at any rate from time to time, must have felt this high sense of responsibility and destiny to which we had been called. Whether we were worthy of it or not is another matter. We have functioned, therefore, during these five years not only on the edge of history but sometimes plunging into the processes of making history."
"The nation is waiting for Parliament to discuss public issues, to legislate and approve a historic Constitution amendment enabling the GST. All this is being indefinitely delayed. The question we need to ask ourselves is, are we being fair to ourselves and this country?" Jaitley said.
Congress leader Anand Sharma countered the finance minister's claims, saying "Indian economy has not gone into deep freeze" because of non-passage of the measure. He charged the Modi government with "mismanaging the economy", claiming that BJP had blocked the GST for five years when it was in the opposition.