At the inaugural Republic Summit 2018, Union Minister Piyush Goyal, J&K NC chief Farooq Abdullah and former Aviation minister Praful Patel held a discussion with Republic TV's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami whether consensus is possible before 2019.
Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goal began the proceedings, arguing that the GST reform which the present government brought is the perfect example to prove that consensus is possible.
"India has demonstrated to the world the highest amount of consensus. In the 70 years since independence, people and parties win elections by a few seats. One big element where there is consensus is the political election process. Whenever there is a crisis, be it war with Pakistan and China, the government of the day, be it whosoever, demonstrated that people of India are together at the need of the hour. On economic reforms, post-1991, several governments have changed. But the thrust of economic reform continues relentlessly. There's no better example than GST to show consensus is possible," he said.
After him, NC patron Farooq Abdullah took the opportunity to express his views. He denied the possibility of a consensus in the country, suggesting the communalisation is diving the country.
"When Congress tried to bring GST, who opposed it? The 5 BJP states. If they are going to lose in 2019, it will be because of two things - demonetization and GST. The way it was brought without thinking about the implications, and BJP is reaping its benefits by losing the three states. I don't see the India which I grew into. India seems to be disappearing. We are now communalising India. What does Ram or Allah have to do with revolution? The cow menace which is there, that is not India. The constitution gives us the strength that this is a secular country. No matter how small you are, you are equal. The present scenario hurts me," he added.
The third member of the panel, NCP leader Praful Patel sided with Farooq Abdullah on the matter and stated that it the biggest example of consensus was the NC leader himself, when he joined hands with Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
"GST has been a political matter, not a technical matter. When BJP was in power, they were against the GST because it suited them politically. One thing, which Farooq Abdullah will also agree, since 1991, in any government, nobody drifted away from the core economic direction of India. On consensus, Mr Farooq Abdullah and his party went out of their way to support PM Vajpayee. They left because of forces around him which derailed the agenda of good governance or good relations with others," he said at the Republic Summit.
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