Describing the ‘tension’ between the government and the Opposition as worse than during the Emergency, industrialist Rahul Bajaj today asked BJP to extend its hand of friendship to Congress by walking “more than halfway”.
“Relations between Congress and BJP, the government and Congress have become pretty bad… The tension is worse than during the Emergency of 1975-77,” Bajaj said while speaking at the Economist India Summit here.
Criticising the behaviour of the two political parties, he said: “They do not know what they do… The basic. Both have responsibilities.”
Suggesting reconciliation, Bajaj said: “I believe that the ruling party should extend the hands of friendship and cooperation (walk) more than halfway and Congress must accept. Otherwise they would not even get the votes that they got last time.”
The Bajaj Auto Chairman, who is known to speak his mind, said major reforms, including the GST, would not happen unless the two parties come to an agreement.
“It (GST) has to be passed by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha both. Till Congress permit it, it would not pass. It can only be a hope that most of the Opposition parties come on board for the Bill,” Bajaj said.
He also criticised the Modi government for sending out conflicting signals on reforms since taking charge.
“On one hand, they say implement the reforms… Why do you want big bang reforms? On the other hand, (they say it is) the new government whose honeymoon period is not of 100 days or six month but of one year,” he said.
“The Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) said that in 15 months you can not expect magic… Because the Upper House is not functioning and unions will come in way of decisions… (but) the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao did that in 1991 in one year.