Congress becoming a liability to India's economy: Arun Jaitley

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday that the Congress which continued its Parliament blockade and thwarted efforts to get the bill on the goods and services tax (GST) passed in the Rajya Sabha today as well is in a destructive mood.

He said its leaders Sonia and Rahul are unable to accept the fact that anyone without the Gandhi title in the family can rule India.

"They have taken the 2014 defeat badly. The two top leaders of the Congress are unable to accept that anyone outside the Gandhi family can run the country,'' he said.

In a scathing attack on the Congress Party which stalled Parliament proceedings after the GST Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha, Jaitley accused the Congress of trying to stall the development of the country.

He maintained that the GDP would be boosted if GST was introduced. "But Congress for some reason does not want that," Jaitley said.

Accusing them of playing politics, the BJP leader said that the Congress was only using the Lalit Modi issue and the matter of Vyapam scam to halt the GST Bill.

At the same time, he warned them that they were treading a dangerous path and asked them to drop the negative approach.

"The Congress is in a self-destruct mode," he said.

The finance minister pointed out that the Congress was a 'liability' on the country's economy when they were in power. "They continue to be a liability out of power too," he said.

Meanwhile, the BJP has been buoyed by Mulayam Singh Yadav telling the Congress that the latter could not hold the House to ransom as per its whims. The Samajwadi Party chief strongly advocated the return of normalcy and calm in Parliament.

The Congress now faces the prospect of isolation in both Houses of Parliament. The support it briefly drew from other opposition parties due to the five-day suspension of 25 of its MPs is thinning. It will depend on how various regional parties behave given the Congress's agenda of total disruption of Parliament.

On the GST Bill, however, all regional parties, except the AIADMK, were in support of it. The implementation of a nationwide GST regime is beneficial for most states, including Odisha (BJD), West Bengal (Trinamool Congress), Andhra Pradesh (TDP), Telangana (TRS), Uttar Pradesh (SP), Bihar (JD-U).

The states which have a high number of manufacturing facilities have a bit of problem with this tax reform mechanism.

The current Monsoon Session will end on 13 August.