The AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “no respect” for institutions like Lokayukta and Lokpal. “Those who agitated for Lokpal (when UPA was in power), have not even started the process for establishing the anti-corruption ombudsman. Moreover, they told the Supreme Court that it is not possible to set up Lokpal,” Digvijaya told reporters here.
“Narendra Modi has no respect for Lokayukta or Lokpal. During his 12 years as Chief Minister of Gujarat, he did not even establish the Lokayukta,” the Congress leader said.
Taking a swipe at the BJP’s ally TDP, he said even Andhra Pradesh did not have a Lokayukta though there was “huge corruption” in the state.
“Chandrababu Naidu (Andhra Pradesh chief minister) himself is not clean. He has taken 30 times more land than required in the name of the (state) capital,” Digvijaya said.
Taking a dig at the AP chief minister for his reference about the YSR Congress president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, he said “Chandrababu is also not clean”.
Referring to the GST Bill passed by Parliament, the Congress leader said traders and the trading community would be a much harassed lot under the new regime.
“GST is supposed to bring in one-tax, one-rate system but under the new legislation there are six new rates. Hitherto, traders were required to submit four (tax) returns a year but now they will have to submit as many as 37 returns. This will only harass the traders and the trading community,” he added.
Digvijaya said that Income Tax authorities were given “unlimited powers” for conducting raids.
“Previously, only a commissioner-rank officer was empowered to conduct raids, but under the new Finance Bill even lower level officers have been given unlimited powers to conduct raids,” he said.
The AICC general secretary, in charge of AP affairs, was here on a two-day visit wherein he attended a coordination committee meeting of the AP Congress Committee yesterday and the executive committee meeting today.
APCC president N Raghuveera Reddy, vice-president Nadendla Manohar, former Union ministers and other senior leaders attended.