Congress CMs meet to target Modi regime on economy, farmers’ issues

New Delhi, Jun 8 (IANS) The meeting of Congress chief ministers on Tuesday is expected to discuss “economic mismanagement” and “anti-people” policies of Narendra Modi government with contentious issue of land and the GST bills also likely to be taken up.

The meeting of chief ministers, the first since the Congress lost the Lok Sabha elections last year, will also deliberate on “cuts” in the allocation for social sector by the National Democratic Alliance government.

The meeting will be addressed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, party vice president Rahul Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh. Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad will also attend.

Ahead of the meeting, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said on Monday that allocations to social sector had been reduced by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government by about Rs 1,75,000 crore and alleged that the “concept of welfare state is systematically being diluted”.

Congress leaders said that the chief ministers may also raise some state-specific issues.

The party is also expected to target the government over its policy on foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.

Party leaders said that the government was continuing with the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government’s policy though the BJP had then opposed it tooth and nail.

On the goods and services tax, the Congress leaders said that the chief ministers will give their views on the proposed amendments to the bill that had been brought by the UPA government, and noted concerns ove the provision that gives power to states to impose an additional one percent tax.

Party leaders said states were also keen on the central government compensating them for five years in case of loss of revenue due to implementation of GST.

The meeting comes in the backdrop of Congress vociferously opposing changes brought to the land bill by the NDA government, especially by Rahul Gandhi who has made several attacks on the government on issues concerning farmers.

Congress is in power in nine states – Karnataka, Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

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