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BJP started consulting Oppn only after string of poll defeats: Scindia

The Centre started consulting opposition parties on policy matters only after a string of election losses, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Friday.

HTLS2015 Updated: Dec 04, 2015 23:23 IST
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2015 Live
Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia speaks during a discussion with NDTV Consulting Editor Barkha Dutt during a session at Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.(Hindustan Times)

The Centre started consulting opposition parties on policy matters only after a string of election losses, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Friday, making it clear that his party was never opposed to many of the reforms legislation now stuck in parliament.

“There were no conversations between the government and the Opposition in the last 15 months until the results of the Bihar assembly and Gujarat civic body polls. We are more than happy to have a conversation with the government,” Scindia, the Congress chief whip in Lok Sabha, said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.

Scindia attended a session on “The challenges before us”, along with two other MPs, NCP’s Supriya Sule and BJD’s Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda.

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His comments come in the backdrop of the BJP government’s dialogue with the Congress-led opposition for a consensus on the crucial GST Bill, which has been struck in the Rajya Sabha for want of numbers for the ruling alliance.

The leaders of the three parties were unanimous in their view that economic reforms were needed for growth of the country.

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The Congress leader alleged that earlier the NDA’s attitude was “always my way or the highway” on policy matters but the recent electoral defeats, especially the high-profile Bihar polls, have brought the BJP to the ground.

“Now the government has understood that it needs to talk to others and what it means to have a consensus,” Scindia added.

The leaders of the three parties asserted that they supported the economic reforms but added they also acted as a responsible Opposition.

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The Congress leader added it is their job to make sure that in parliament only “progressive bills” are passed.

“The current form of the GST Bill is not in the best interest of the nation,” Scindia said, defending his party’s demand for more changes in the long-awaited legislation.

Underlining NCP’s commitment to reforms, Sule said in a lighter vein: “We are so pro-reform that sometimes our old friends think we are tilting towards the new regime.”

The NCP MP from Baramati announced amid applauses that differences between political parties should not come as a stumbling block for progressive reform that could help the country develop.

Panda, however, urged the Congress not to block the GST bill saying that “checks and balances are good but not to the point of stopping the passage of all bills.”

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Full coverage of HTLS2015