Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying his remark on Amit Shah was the "biggest joke of 2011".
"Prime Minister tried to associate Gujarat in his press conference to wash off the stains on himself. This is the joke of the year 2011. This is laughable," he said.
In a veiled reference to Shah during his interaction with TV editors on Wednesday, Singh said, "The Opposition parties, particularly BJP has taken a hostile attitude and the reasons that have been given frankly I cannot mention it in public... because you have taken some decision against a particular person, who was a minister in Gujarat, you must reverse it. I don't want to add further."
"Instead of blaming any minister from Gujarat or the state government, the prime minister should give true facts about his failures before the people of India," the Gujarat chief minister said.
Singh made the comments while blaming the Opposition for the delay in introduction of the Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Service Tax (GST).
Shah, a former minister of state for home in the Modi government, was arrested by CBI in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and is now out on bail.
Criticising Singh for blaming the BJP for delay in the economic reforms, Modi said, "Now when the prime minister has accepted his helplessness in running the government, he should put forward true facts on his government's failure to carry forward economic reforms and GST. BJP and Gujarat government has always shown a positive attitude toward economic reforms and GST."
Modi demanded that the Union government make public, the proceedings and minutes of meetings held during the last two years of the empowered committee formed for implementation of GST.
It will become clear that only talks of reforming the system have been discussed in the meetings and nothing concrete has taken place, he said.
Modi said that during a meeting with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on the issue of GST a year ago, he had told him that GST cannot be implemented unless information technology network is installed in the entire country.
"Mukherjee, in the meeting, itself had instructed his staff members to form a task force for implementation of information and technology network in the entire country. However, no progress has been made on the issue after one year," he said.
Not only non-Congress state government but those who are supporting the UPA have also made it clear to the Centre that it should not play with the states' interests on the issue of GST, he said.