New Delhi: Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Thursday recalled his conversation with senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj in 2011, when she had told him that the Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh chief ministers (Modi and Shivraj Singh Chouhan) were opposed to GST and that the BJP leadership was prepared to override their objections.
“On October 20, 2011, I met Sushma Swaraj and after that meeting I wrote a letter to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. I asked Sushmaji, why are you opposing Goods and Services Tax (GST)? She told me that Gujarat and MP CMs are opposing it,” said Ramesh while briefing mediapersons.
“She also said that efforts are on to change the mind of these two CMs,” he said citing facts from the letter he had written to Manmohan Singh.
She went on to say that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership (including its then President Nitin Gadkari) was prepared to override the objections of the Gujarat and MP chief ministerss, Ramesh said.
He further said that from 2004 to 2014, for 10 years only two chief ministers blocked the GST.
“One was Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the other Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. MP CM had some questions and doubts, like MP is a poor state, what will be its benefits and losses under GST,” said Ramesh.
“But, after 2008, only one CM was against GST and that was Modi. One who blocked it for 10 years has now become the advocate of GST,” he added.
“There was a time when former Bihar Finance Minister Sushil Modi was the president of the committee of finance ministers. Sushil Modi had supported GST but Narendra Modi opposed it. It had became Modi vs Modi,” Ramesh recalled.