The chief ministers of non-BJP-ruled states on Wednesday discussed GST compensation amid the Covid-19 pandemic in which Congress president Sonia Gandhi said the Centre’s refusal to reimburse the states was nothing short of betrayal of the people by the Narendra Modi government.
Sonia convened the virtual meeting attended by Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren and CMs of Congress-ruled states/UTs Amarinder Singh, Ashok Gehlot, Bhupesh Baghel and V Narayanasamy.
One of the most fierce Modi critics, Mamata accused the Centre of treating Opposition-ruled states in a step-motherly manner. The states are being bulldozed in the name of cooperative federalism, she said.
“The Bengal government has not yet received the state’s GST dues of Rs 53,000 crore GST from the Centre.’
’Referring to the Centre’s role in clearing the GST dues to the states, Mamata said: “If it goes on, it will invite a conflict between the Centre and the states. A country cannot move forward without states’ development.’’
Uddhav told the meeting that it should decide whether the CMs have to fight or be afraid.
“First, we have to decide whether we have to fight or be fearful. Otherwise, we will keep meeting and discussions will keep on happening. If we have to fight, then we have to do it at any cost.”
But Amarinder suggested that a delegation should meet the prime minister to press for release of GST compensation.
Soren urged the Congress to launch a strong protest against “faulty” economic policies of the Centre Baghel said the Centre has not paid GST dues for the last four months to Chhattisgarh. Gehlot claimed several letters to PM Modi for GST dues have evinced no reply so far. With inputs from Chandigarh, Ranchi, Kolkata, Raipur and Mumbai