The Congress, like the BJP, has issued a whip to its MPs in both the Houses of Parliament in view of the all-important Goods and Services Tax Bill as also the application of the promised Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh, both of which are figuring this week.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had already issued a virtual whip to the leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, to be present in the House and ensure the passage of the KVP bill. While the Congress has linked the the passage of the GST Bill with the KVP Ramachandra Rao Bill for the according special status to AP, the ruling TDP in AP has not spelled out its view on the issue. The TDP, however, decided to support the KVP Bill for AP in full.
Union Finance Minister and leader of Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley is meanwhile meeting the leaders of opposition parties once again on Tuesday to garner support for his pet GST bill. But he had ruled out support for the KVP Bill, arguing a Private Member could not pass a money bill. The Congress and other opposition parties had told Jaitley and the BJP-led government that all bills had some money content. So, therefore, the KVP bill could not be made an exception.
So, the Congress and the other opposition parties should push one more thrust (aur ek dhakka as they say in Hindi) and the KVP Bill could be a reality. The argument put forward by some of the Union ministers that the two Bills could not be interlinked is fallacious in terms of the bipartisan approach obvious in the GST Bill, which could not be passed without the Congress support.
Now that the Congress is pushing for the linkage of the GST and KVP bills, it's time for all the good MPs to come to the aid of the party to do justice to Andhra Pradesh. The BJP had already issued a whip to its MPs. So the people can expect a bipartisan approach from Parliament.