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Rahul Gandhi in Madhya Pradesh: ‘Gabbar Singh Tax' to be changed if Congress comes to power’

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Aniruddha Dhar | Updated on: 27 Sep 2018, 06:37:19 PM

New Delhi:

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who began his two-day tour of Madhya Pradesh, said on Thursday that if his party comes to power in the state, it will make changes to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to reduce rates on items.

"As soon as we come to power, we will change the 'Gabbar Singh Tax' into real tax. We will implement one tax at lowest rates… The Modi government has destroyed small businesses and employment through demonetisation and GST,” Rahul Gandhi said while addressing a rally in Chitrakoot.

GST, which brought a one-tax regime in the country, was rolled out last year.

The Congress president will visit different places across poll-bound Madhya Pradesh during his visit. Rahul also visited the famous Kamta Nath temple in this religious town associated with Lord Rama.

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In his address, Rahul also continued his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale fighter deal, alleging that "the watchman has indulged in theft."

Turning to the Rafale deal, Rahul said: "Hindustan ke chowkidar ne chori kar li hai" (India's watchman has indulged in theft)."

His reference was to Modi who had said he would be the country's 'chowkidar' in his capacity as the prime minister.

"The man, who claims to be the country's watchman, has himself put Rs 30,000 crore in the pocket of (industrialist) Anil Ambani in the Rafale deal," Rahul claimed.

Describing Anil Ambani as Modi's "friend", the Congress leader alleged that the industrialist has a debt of Rs 45,000 crore.

"The 'chowkidar' took out the money from the pockets of the poor, the youth and other people and put it into the pocket of Ambani... This money belongs to the people of the country," Rahul alleged.

Ambani, however, rejected Rahul Gandhi's allegations and emphasised that the government had no role in the Rafale-manufacturer French company Dassault picking up his company as a local partner. He had written to Gandhi on December 12, 2017, refuting allegations of his Reliance Group lacking experience to get the Rafale fighter jet deal.

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He had written that Reliance Defence has the largest shipyard in the private sector at Pipavav in Gujarat and is currently building five Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels (NOPVs) for the Indian Navy and 14 Fast Patrol Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard.

In his speech, Rahul also accused Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of speaking untruth on the Rafale deal issue.

"In Parliament, the defence minister said the price of Rafale fighter plane can't be disclosed due to secret pact. I met the French president, who said there is no such pact and the price can be disclosed," the Congress chief said.

The prime minister spoke for one-and-a-half hour in Parliament but did not talk about Rafale issue, Rahul added.

Earlier, he reached Chitrakoot from Allahabad by a helicopter and visited the Kamta Nath temple where he performed 'puja'.

The temple is located in the forested hills of Kamadgiri where, according to mythology, Lord Rama stayed during his exile.  The 48-year-old Amethi MP was accompanied by Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath, state party campaign committee chairman Jyotiraditya Scindia and Leader of Opposition in MP Assembly Ajay Singh.

(With PTI inputs)

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First Published : 27 Sep 2018, 05:18:50 PM