If voted to power in 2019 General Election, the Congress will simplify Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates and try to remove the confusion surrounding the tax system, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said on the final day of his four-day pre-election tour of six districts of Karnataka. “We are clear in our position that we will simplify GST if we come to power. We will try to remove the confusion that exists currently,” Rahul said during a meeting with businessmen and professionals in the northern district of Kalaburagi on Tuesday.
Rahul said the GST proposed by the Congress-led UPA exempted items used by the poor from the purview of the tax, and a uniform tax structure capped at 18 per cent instead of a five-tier structure. The NDA opted for a five- tier GST, thereby creating confusion, he said.
Rahul also claimed that idea of demonetisation was given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by a “particular ideologue” of the RSS, and that a person from the Sangh works as an officer on special duty (OSD) “in every single ministry…at the national level”, according to PTI. Stating that ministers do not operate on their own, he said, “This is the fundamental conflict we have with BJP. Their idea is wherever they go, they plant people with their ideology in that organisation.”
BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa on Tuesday stirred a controversy by tweeting that Rahul had eaten non-vegetarian food before visiting a temple in Kanakagiri, the constituency represented by Congress’s Shivaraj Tangadagi. “On one side you have CM Siddaramaiah who took darshan of Dharmasthala Manjunatha after eating fish, on the other is Election Hindu @OfficeOfRG (Rahul Gandhi) who visited Narasimha swamy temple after eating chicken,” Yeddyurappa tweeted in Kannada, referring to a recent controversy over Chief Minister Siddaramaiah visiting a temple in Dakshina Kannada district after allegedly consuming a meal that included a fish delicacy.
Siddaramaiah and Kanakagiri MLA Tangadagi denied the allegation. “Rahul Gandhi did not eat meat before going to the temple, as alleged by the BJP. The BJP created this lie and is propagating it,’’ Siddaramaiah said. Rahul’s campaign in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region —comprising the districts of Gulbarga, Yadgir, Bellary, Bidar, Raichur and Koppal — is seen as a morale booster for the Congress given the large turnouts at rallies and along the routes during the four-day tour since December 10.
“Rahul Gandhi will go on the second leg of his tour on February 24 and will travel for three days in Bombay-Karnataka region,” Siddaramaiah posted on social media. Belgaum, Dharwad, Bijapur and Karwar districts are part of the Bombay-Karnataka region, as these were part of the British-era Bombay Presidency.