Govt Seeks Rarely Present Rekha’s Support On GST


New Delhi: The government’s mission to collect support for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in the Rajya Sabha hit a wall with one elusive member, Rekha.

For the GST Bill debate in the Rajya Sabha, floor managers of the ruling BJP reportedly reached out not just to political parties but also to nominated members like cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and movie star Rekha.

Sources say they have so far failed to contact Rekha, who joined the Rajya Sabha as a nominated member in 2012. Senior ministers were seen today in parliament soliciting advice from Congress leaders on how to touch base with the 61-year-old actor.

Rekha and Sachin were nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the Congress-led UPA government which lost power in 2014. In the past four years, their poor attendance has made more headlines than anything they have said or done as parliamentarians.

Rekha attended the Budget session for the first time this year. Her blink and miss appearance failed to blunt criticism about celebrities not taking their role in parliament seriously.

Sachin Tendulkar’s record is not much better and he was not seen when the house debated GST, but his vote came on Twitter. The GST creates one national tax to replace a complex web of levies that differ from state to state.

Every MP counts for the government as it tries to pass the GST in the Rajya Sabha, where it is in a minority. Days of hard negotiation have resulted in a compromise between the government and the opposition. The BJP has ordered full attendance in the house in a whip issued to party MPs.