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Modi's 'redistribution' charge against Cong gets Pitroda's booster

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: April 25, 2024 00:28 IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday seized on Congress leader Sam Pitroda's remarks on inheritance tax to step up the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's blistering attack on the issue of 'wealth redistribution', saying 'zindagi ke saath bhi, zindagi ke baad bhi' is the opposition party's mantra to 'loot' people.

IMAGE: Sam Pitroda, Chairman of Indian Overseas Congress . Photograph: ANI Photo

In his poll rallies, Modi framed Pitroda's comments in his wider onslaught against the Congress, asserting that they have exposed its hidden agenda and that the party has become so removed from the country's social and family values that it wants to legally rob people of their assets and lifelong savings they want to bequeath to their children.

The Congress swung into damage control, distancing itself from the comments of the United States-based president of its overseas wing and asserting that it has no plan to introduce such a tax.


'I would like to categorically state that Congress has no plan on the inheritance tax. (Sam) Pitroda is a very distinguished professional.. He has expressed his views in the American context, which has no relevance for us. He does not speak on behalf of the Congress,' Congress general secretary and communication department head Jairam Ramesh said.

'Sensationalising his comments now and tearing them out of context are deliberate and desperate attempts at diverting attention away from Mr. Narendra Modi's malicious and mischievous election campaign; that is anchored only in lies and more lies,' he said on X.

Pitroda had spoken about inheritance tax in the US while delving into the issue of redistribution of wealth.

At an election rally in Chhattisgarh's Ambikapur, Modi said the dangerous intentions of the Congress are coming to the fore one by one and now 'it says it will impose inheritance tax'.

"The advisor of 'shehzada' of the 'shahi parivar', who was also the advisor to the shehzada's father, said that more tax should be imposed on the middle class and those who earn by toiling hard," Modi said, apparently referring to Rahul Gandhi and Pitroda.

The Congress will impose a tax on the assets inherited by people from their parents, he said, claiming that the 'panja' (Congress' poll symbol) will snatch the assets from their children.

"Congress ka mantra hei Congress ki loot 'zindagi ke saath bhi, zindagi ke baad bhi' (Congress' mantra is looting people when they are alive and afterwards too)," he said improvising on the iconic tagline of state-run Life Insurance Corporation (LIC).

"Till you are alive, the Congress will impose more tax and after your life ends, it will impose the burden of inheritance tax on you. They (Congress) want to snatch your assets and rights of your children," the prime minister alleged.

He spoke on similar lines in his rallies in Madhya Pradesh.

Pitroda, however, sought to clear the air saying it is unfortunate that what he said as an individual on inheritance tax in the US is twisted by 'godi media' to divert attention from the 'lies' Modi is spreading about the Congress manifesto.

Modi's comments on Mangal Sutra and gold snatching are simply unreal, he added.

'I mentioned US inheritance tax in the US only as an example in my normal conversation on TV. Can I not mention facts? I said these are the kinds of issues people will have to discuss and debate. This has nothing to do with the policy of any party including Congress,' he said on X.

Amid the fierce attack from the BJP, the Congress has been insisting that its manifesto does not talk about 'redistribution' and that it favours a 'comprehensive socio-economic caste census'.

As Pitroda's comments provided fresh fodder to the BJP, its leaders latched onto them to target the principal opposition party ahead of the second phase of Lok Sabha elections on April 26.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on X, 'So, the Congress' plan is 'While living Tax. On death Tax (Inheritance)

'Aims to hit the middle and aspirational classes. Their savings or small holdings shall not go to their children. Dr MMS' 'Organised loot and legalised plunder' will be seen in action. Congress' Tax terrorism.'

The Congress also marshalled a counter-offensive as its functionaries shared past comments of BJP leaders, including former Union minister and MP in the outgoing Lok Sabha Jayant Sinha, in 'favour' of such an tax.

Sinha, then a junior finance minister, had publicly said in 2014 that he wanted to introduce inheritance tax while the then finance minister Arun Jaitley had praised the concept in 2018, saying it is a source of big endowment to hospitals and educational institutions in the western countries, Ramesh claimed, sharing screenshots of related reports.

Addressing a press conference, BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said, "Sam Pitroda has elaborated the nefarious design of the Congress. We are a saving-based economy. In India, one generation (of a family) earns by doing hard work. The second generation builds on that and then the third generation gets some comfort."

"And, the Congress wants to snatch away that happiness and peace from people with Sam Pitroda talking about imposing a tax on gold," he charged.

Home Minister Amit Shah also flayed Pitroda's remarks, saying, "The appeasement politics of the Congress stands exposed today with Sam Pitroda's statement on wealth redistribution. He reaffirmed the party's intention to seize the property of the majority and distribute it among the minority."

"It yet again brings to the fore that the empowerment of India's poor, Dalits, youth, tribes, and backward classes was never on Congress's agenda," he said on X.

Taking a swipe at the Congress over its reaction to Pitroda's comments, BJP ally and Lok Janshakti Party-Ram Vilas leader Chirag Paswan said the opposition party has to distance itself because it will harm them.

"There is no coherence in speeches of Congress leaders. There is no clarity. It is affecting them. The Congress will be at an all-time low on June 4 (Vote counting day)," he said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
India Votes 2024

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