Refusing to share the euphoria of its ally BJP over the GST relief, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said the Centre was compelled to bring changes in the tax regime as “arrogant rulers had become helpless before the might of people.” He said the country was restless due to the burden of taxes.
“The arrogant rulers had to bow down before the might of people….they (the government) had become helpless after feeling the fire burning inside people. After the GST cuts, the government should do something for the common man. Reduce Inflation, fuel prices and stop load shedding,” he told reporters.
Thackeray said Diwali was round the corner when people performed ‘Laxmi pujan’. But people had little ‘Laxmi’ (money) left as the Centre “looted” them by imposing more and more taxes, he said.
“An impression is being created that the relief in GST was a Diwali gift to the people. It is certainly not so. Do you consider not troubling people or fleecing them a Diwali gift?” he said.
Shiv Sena is a part of the BJP-led governments both at the Centre and in Maharashtra, but has frequently targeted the Narendra Modi government on a host of issues including demonetisation.
“Why did you levy such high rates if you had to bring them down later. Will you return the excess money collected from people all these days?” Thackeray asked.
Three months after the rollout of the new indirect tax regime, the GST Council yesterday made sweeping changes to give relief to small and medium businesses on filing and payment of taxes, eased rules for exporters and cut tax rates on more than two dozen items.
The Sena chief also sought to take credit for the eviction of hawkers from railway stations premises in the wake of the recent foot overbrigde stampede at a suburban train station here that left 23 people dead.
He said Sena ministers had submitted a memorandum to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on the issue and he initiated the eviction drive in response to the Sena’s demand.
Uddhav Thackeray’s estranged cousin and MNS chief Raj Thackeray had earlier this week given an ultimatum of 15 days to both the Central and Western Railway to clear the stations of hawkers, failing which he had threatened to deal with the issue “MNS style”. Raj Thackeray’s party is known for its strong arm tactics.
Uddhav Thackeray also took credit for the government’s decision to hike the remuneration of Anganwadi workers in accordance with their seniority, claming that Fadnavis took the decision following constant follow-up by Shiv Sena ministers.
The nearly one-month-long stir by Anganwadi workers in Maharashtra was called off yesterday after the state government agreed to raise their wages.