All India Congress Committee secretary Ashwani Sekhri took a dig at CM Anandiben Patel on Wednesday over the Gujarat government’s decision to impose VAT on salt production and said she was “possessed by spirit of foreign rulers”. “The British government had imposed tax on salt. It was like rubbing salt into the wounds of people of India. Mahatma Gandhi had broken that law by taking out Dandi March. Now, salt is being taxed for the first time since then. Therefore, it appears that Anandiben has been possessed by spirit of firangis (foreign rulers),” Sekhari told The Indian Express on the sidelines of a meeting with local Congress workers in the city.
Sekhri had visited Kutch on Tuesday and said that Congress workers complained to him about VAT on salt. The state government had announced a partial rollback of the VAT Tuesday, following protest by salt-manufacturers. In its Budget for 2016-17, the state government had proposed to levy five per cent VAT on production of industrial salt.