Sam Pitroda’s remark on new tax fuels PM Modi’s new attack on Congress | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Sam Pitroda’s remark on new tax fuels PM Modi’s new attack on Congress

Apr 24, 2024 03:49 PM IST

Jairam Ramesh distanced the Congress from Pitroda’s comments on inheritance tax, saying it was aimed at diverting attention from Modi’s malicious campaign

RAIPUR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has fronted the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign against the Congress, on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on the party, saying Sam Pitroda’s comments on inheritance tax had revealed the Congress’s “dangerous intentions.

Surguja: Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a public meeting for the Lok Sabha elections, in Surguja district, Chhattisgarh, Wednesday (PTI/BJP4India)
Surguja: Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a public meeting for the Lok Sabha elections, in Surguja district, Chhattisgarh, Wednesday (PTI/BJP4India)

“They (Congress) want to snatch your assets and rights of your children,” PM Modi told an election meeting in north Chhattisgarh’s Ambikapur, the headquarters of Surguja district in Chhattisgarh, citing a statement by Pitroda, president of the Indian Overseas Congress, in which he appeared to back the imposition of inheritance tax.

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“The advisor to shehzada and the shahi parivar (of the Congress)... said that more tax should be imposed on the middle class and those who earn by working hard. Now Congress says it will impose an inheritance tax. It will impose a tax on the assets inherited by people from their parents. Now, the panja (Congress poll symbol) will snatch the assets from your children,” PM Modi said, hours after news agency ANI put out Sam Pitroda’s comments.

Also Read: Pitroda’s remarks put spotlight on inheritance tax decades after it was scrapped

In the video, Pitroda described the inheritance tax in the United States’ as an interesting law and called for a debate and discussion on such a law, “I don’t know what the conclusion would be at the end of the day but when we talk about redistributing wealth, we are talking about new policies and new programs that are in the interest of the people and not in the interest of the super-rich only,” he said.

To be sure, India did have an inheritance tax between 1953 and 1985. It was abolished by the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1985. VP Singh, who was the finance minister, said it hadn’t helped reduce the unequal distribution of wealth or raise money for development schemes. The estate duty raised only about 20 crore.

As the BJP picked on Sam Pitroda’s video clip to criticise the Congress, party general secretary Jairam Ramesh rushed to distance the party from Pitroda’s comments. Ramesh said Pitroda’s views did not always reflect the position of the Congress. “Sensationalising his comments now and tearing them out of context are deliberate and desperate attempts at diverting attention away from Mr. Narendra Modi’s malicious and mischievous election campaign; that is anchored ONLY in lies and more lies”, he said in a post on X.

Pitroda also clarified: “It is unfortunate that what I said as an individual on inheritance tax in the US is twisted by Godi media to divert attention from what lies PM is spreading about Congress manifesto. PM’s comments Mangal Sutra & gold snatching is simply unreal.”

PM Modi’s attack on the Congress over the ‘inheritance tax’ comes against the backdrop of the BJP’s shrill pitch charging the Congress with plotting to redistribute both wealth and reservation benefits to Muslims.

“Your children will not get the wealth that you accumulate through your hard work, rather the claws of the Congress government will snatch it away from you. That means Congress’s mantra is - Congress’s loot during life and even after life. As long as you live, Congress will hit you with higher taxes,” he told the election meeting in Surguja district.

PM Modi also alleged that the Congress was a ‘vote-bank hungry’ party that wanted to implement religion-based reservation in the country. “The Congress doesn’t care about the sanctity of the Constitution or the words of Dr Ambedkar... Years ago Congress tried to implement reservation based on religion in Andhra Pradesh and they wanted to do it throughout the country,” he added.

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