As the entire House waited with bated breath to hear what AIADMK had to say during the discussion on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill—AIADMK is one of the two opposition parties contending the legislature—MP A Navaneethakrishnan rose. “It is only because of Amma that I am able to speak on an important Constitutional Bill,” he began, leaving eyes rolling. Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa is also known as ‘Amma’ (mother).
He listed the regional party’s disagreements with the bill, including how it violates the right of the Tamil Nadu assembly to pass laws on taxes. “Democracy and federalism are the basic features of the Constitution. It (GST) violates states’ autonomy. It violates Article 21 of the Constitution.”
The AIADMK MP added, “The composition of the GST Council is not fair. The weightage of each state’s vote should be in proportion to their representation in the country. GST has different implications for different states.”
Suggestions he put forth included petroleum and petroleum products being omitted from the ambit of the bill, a revenue-neutral rate and compensation for at least 5 years. “Tamil Nadu will lose ₹9,270 crore because of GST. This is not a small amount,” he ended.
Or so we thought. The AIADMK MP thanked Amma again after his speech before sitting down. Rajya Sabha deputy chairman PJ Kurien joked that he was not thanked.