NEW DELHI(PTI): Stepping up pressure on the Centre, Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said he will continue to fight till it rolls back the proposal for levying tax on EPF withdrawals.
“This Prime Minister allows thieves to turn their black money into white under the recent budget’s ‘fair and lovely scheme’, but taxes the life-long savings of the honest salaried class,” the Congress Vice President said addressing an election rally.
Gandhi said that he would continue to fight for the salaried class and put pressure on the government which “works for a selected group of industrialists and those with black money.”
“I had said in the media and also to the Prime Minister not to tax the salaried class on their honest savings and do something about it. But in his one-hour speech in Parliament on Thursday, there was not a single mention about this,” he said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the 2016-17 Budget has proposed that 60% of withdrawal from contribution to EPF made after April 1 this year will be subject to tax.
The proposal has drawn flak from parties, unions and other quarters.
Attacking the Prime Minister, Gandhi accused him of playing fraud on the people by failing to fulfill his poll promises and said those who voted for him are now seeking “refund”.
“I’ll continue to pressurise this government as it is not the government of the honest working class…it is not the government of poor farmers, backward classes, youths, women, dalit, adivasis and minorities,” he said.
The Congress Vice President, on a two-day visit to the state from yesterday, earlier undertook a six-km padayatra from Shahid Bhawan in Nagaon to Borghat.
Gandhi said that in Parliament he had asked Modi four questions on his promises of bringing back black money and depositing Rs 15 lakh in everybody’s bank account, the recent budget proposal of “turning black money to white”, Rohith Vemula’s suicide, Kanhaiya Kumar and JNU and finally about the number of youths employed as a result of his ‘Make in India’ scheme.
“Have I asked anything wrong? Did I say anything personal? Modiji, in his hour-long speech, instead of giving a reply to these questions, quoted former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi and launched a personal attack on me,” Gandhi said at the election meeting.
“The Prime Minister’s post is very dignified and he should not have made personal attacks, but I did not mind. He does not give answers, but only makes promises which are hollow,” he said.
On the JNU row, the Congress Vice-president said BJP cannot be allowed to play with the future of 8000 students of JNU and his party is with them.
The government slapped sedition charges on JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar and put him in jail. “But I listened to his 20-minute speech and there is not a single word against the country,” he said.
Gandhi, quoting a story of a friend who had ordered a computer from an online shopping website but received a parcel with a log of wood inside, alleged that the country was also faced with a similar situation.
“People were lured by Modi’s false and hollow promises and just like my friend who is now engaged in getting the amount refunded, the people of the country are also asking for a refund,” he said,.
Referring to Assam, where two-phase polls will be held on April 4 and 11, he praised Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and the people of the state for bringing back peace and development in the state during the last 15 years.
“BJP under Modi believes in creating terror. In Haryana, there was peace for the last 10 years but they came to power and the state was set on fire. Wherever they go, they create tension and make people fight,” Gandhi alleged.
He said the UPA government had given Rs 5,000 crore to Assam under the special category status, but the BJP government “snatched it away along with the North East Industrial Policy”.