Launching a frontier attack against the BJP led central government, the local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu led a Congress protest in Amritsar, criticising the Goods and Services Tax (GST), here on Saturday.
With hundreds of Congressmen thronging the Hall bazaar (market), roads were choked and traffic came to a stand still for over an hour, leaving the commuters fuming.
Sidhu along with other senior Congress leaders including MLA Inderbir Singh Bolaria, MLA Raj Kumar Verka, MLA Sunil Dutti, Congress Punjab (women wing) president Mamta Dutta, Jugal Kishore Sharma succeeded in displaying the strength of the party. “It is an attack on the federal system of the country and an absolute breach of public faith,” said Navjot Singh Sidhu. This ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’ is economical terrorism, he said. Traders and consumers are not happy, as their businesses have been severely hit. Businessmen used to be the biggest vote bank of BJP, but the central government betrayed them, he said.
Apparently it was the first time, when Sidhu strongly condemned the central government as he had been facing criticism in past for keeping mum against his previous political party.
Lashing out at the central government, Sidhu said, “Punjab is not at the mercy of the central government as the latter owes ₹3,600 crore GST money to the state.”
“Realising its mistake, the central government has already reverted GST from 28% to 18% but the Gabbar Tax has destroyed the economical stability of the country. The only solution to the problem is that central government should allow the states to collect its own GST. The state governments should give the central government its share. The central government is yet to release ₹1000 crore MC funds. The BJP government is disrespecting the states,” he said.
“The central government is enjoying the interest on the funds, supposed to be allocated to states and we are paying those taxes by availing loans. How is this justified?” said Sidhu.
Commuter Keeratpal Singh said, “This is not the way to protest. They are harassing the public. There may be medical emergency to the road users and lives can be at the risk but the politicians are not sensitive enough to give it a thought.”
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