Stepping up his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in poll-bound Gujarat, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Monday termed Goods and Services Tax (GST) as “Gabbar Singh Tax” and said the indirect tax structure coupled with demonetisation have ruined the country’s economy.
“What happened on November 8? Modiji came on television and said I don’t like Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. So I have decided to spike them from that midnight. And by doing that he attacked the whole country by one stroke,” Gandhi said while addressing a gathering in Gandhinagar.
“For the first two three days days he too did not understand what has happened. And in a concert in Mumbai he announced ‘I have done this’. But after five-six days he realised he made a mistake. Then again he appeared on television and said if I don’t end the menace of black money by December 30 then hang me,” the Congress leader remarked.
Gandhi also asked PM Modi to break his silence on BJP President Amit Shah’s son Jay whose business fortunes allegedly increased exponentially after the NDA came to power.
Addressing a gathering of supporters of young OBC leader Alpesh Thakor, Gandhi further alleged that the BJP had tried to buy “priceless” voices of Gujaratis and said it won’t succeed. Thakor formally joined the grand old party in the presence of Gandhi.
Taking a jibe at Digital India campaign, the Congress VP then asked farmers in the crowd if they buy seeds and fertilisers from their mobile phones and with cheques. The crowd replied with a loud ‘No’.
“He destroyed the entire economy. He did not stop there but went ahead with the GST,” Gandhi said. “GST was our thinking. We brought it, it was a thought of single tax of 18 per cent across the nation with less forms to be filled.”
The Congress scion also criticised Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for ignoring Congress recommendation of cutting tax slabs. “But they said that they will do it in the same way they did it with demonetisation with all celebrations at midnight. Now there is a GST with 28 per cent tax and three return forms. Now GST has become a Gabbar Singh Tax,” he quipped, referring to the famous Bollywood villain in “Sholay”.
Attacking the “Make in India” slogan of the PM Modi, Gandhi pointed out that it was Chinese goods everywhere in the country. “The government has to give employment to youth. India’s competition is with China. Should employment go to China or come to India?,” he asked.
“Most of the products you use have the label of Made in China. Whether it is a shirt, cameras or anything else. When you click selfies or press a button for a picture, a Chinese youth gets employment,” he said, claiming that around 30 lakh youth are unemployed in Gujarat alone. “Everyday 30,000 people across the country enter the job market. But only 450 people get jobs.”
In response, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad shrugged off Congress’ allegations and described the party as “Dramebaaz party number one, this is Congress party.”
The Election Commission stated Gujarat will go to polls before December 18. Both the BJP and Congress are pitted against each other in the forthcoming election.
With IANS, ANI inputs