Bihar defeat has no impact on Modi’s popular leadership: Jaitley | india | Hindustan Times
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Bihar defeat has no impact on Modi’s popular leadership: Jaitley

india Updated: Nov 10, 2015 17:22 IST
Bihar polls

Finance minister Arun Jaitley addresses a press conference after BJP's parliamentary board meeting in New Delhi.(PTI Photo)

Terming Prime Minister Modi leadership as ‘strong, decisive and popular’, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said there was no question of any impact on ‘Brand Modi’ from the results of Bihar polls.

His comments follow a spectacular victory for Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance in recently concluded Bihar assembly elections over the NDA.

The newly-formed JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance secured 178 seats in the 243-member House, while the NDA could get only 58 seats.

When asked whether there would be any impact of Bihar results on the ‘Brand Modi’, Jaitley said, “No. Nothing like that... Brand is anyway a word coined by media. His leadership is strong, decisive and popular.”

The finance minister also ruled out any impact of Bihar poll results on investor sentiment and said economic reforms will continue.

“The poll impact won’t deter investor confidence and sentiment... I think investors are very wise people, they will see the performance of this government,” the senior BJP leader told PTI.

“They will judge us by our working style and we will provide good governance.”

“Many reforms are with executive decisions. Those will continue. Many legislative issues also get passed by Parliament. In some cases, there are delays, but those will be sorted out,” he said.

When questioned on the pending GST bill, he said this is a priority for the government and it will try to get it passed.

He expressed hope that Bihar would support the legislation because as a consuming state, it would benefit from the new indirect tax legislation.

“Bihar and the JD(U) had supported this in the Lower House... If Nitish Kumar, as a responsible leader, has been elected on the plank of development, then certainly he wants more revenue for Bihar...,” he said.

On whether he would talk to Nitish Kumar for supporting GST, he said, “I will speak to the new government that they should support the bill.”

The government has plans to roll out GST from April 1, 2016, but the Constitution Amendment Bill is stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA does not have a majority.

Once rolled out, it will subsume various levies like excise, service tax, sales tax, octroi etc and ensure a single indirect tax regime for the entire country.