Minutes after the Assembly passed the State-Goods and Service Tax bill to pave way for implementation of GST in the state, PDP's ally BJP asserted the move was a "beginning of the process of complete integration" of Jammu and Kashmir with the Union of India.
"We are extremely happy that GST has been implemented in the state on the birth anniversary of Shama Prasad Mukherjee," BJP's state president and MLA Sat Sharma told reporters outside the Assembly.
"The GST is a step and beginning of the process of complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir into Union of India," he said.
To a question that the Presidential Order on implementation of GST to J&K talks about assurance on preservation of J&K's special status guaranteed under Article 370 of the Constitution of India, Sharma said: "With changing times, you will realize what has been done. There is no need to rush."
The BJP state president said his party was thankful to President Pranab Mukherjee for issuing the Presidential Order on GST.
Meanwhile, in Legislative Council, opposition Congress Friday staged a walkout soon after the government laid the Presidential Order on GST extension to the state on the table for its approval. "We were not given a chance to debate the GST. The abuses by the ruling party members flew in the House for the past two days," said a senior Congress leader and MLC G N Monga, who along with party members walked out of the House before it passed the bill on state-GST.
"The government is happy that it has extended GST to the state with safeguards, but the union finance minister Arun Jaitley has said the GST extension is integration of Jammu and Kashmir into India," he said.
Monga said if the GST has been passed for integration of J&K with union of India, then "why we were called for committing this sin."
"We will oppose it," Monga said.
The Congress leader said the Assembly session to debate GST was a "fixed match" between BJP and PDP.
He said the presidential order should have been laid in the House a few days before to allow time to opposition to analyse it. "But it is being given now. So how can we discuss it," he added.