A dramatic display by Congressmen during poll campaigning in Gujarat, when partymen enacted scenes from Bollywood's all-time favourite movie Sholay, backfired badly.
A dramatic display by Congressmen during poll campaigning in Gujarat, when partymen enacted scenes from Bollywood’s all-time favourite movie Sholay, backfired badly. Gujarat Congress workers had taken to streets today by dressing up as “Gabbar Singh” and other film characters to protest against GST rollout. Notably, the workers even carried air guns so that they could do justice to the character. However, these Congressmen later found themselves on the wrong side of the law as the rally was carried out without permission from the authorities. “Their GST is not GST. GST means Gabbar Singh Tax. This is causing a loss to the country. Small shopkeepers are finished. Lakhs of youths have been unemployed. But they are still not ready to listen,” the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had earlier said while attacking the Modi Government. Interestingly, the Congress workers went ahead and planned the rally in accordance with the views of their top boss. Gabbar Singh was the main villain of the 1970s’ superhit movie ‘Sholay’.
However, the stunt did not impress the police who went on to execute a mass arrest campaign of their own. Explained Salabatpura inspector VJ Chaudhary, “They took out the rally without permission and were also carrying air guns. We are taking them with us, we have also informed RO. A team is coming to take stock of the situation and take further action.”
Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has lambasted Congress’ vice-president Rahul Gandhi for calling the GST as Gabbar Singh Tax. Jaitley said that during 55 years of Congress rule, the tax on common use items were 31 per cent . “If GST is Gabbar Singh Tax, then higher tax rates of 31 per cent should be named after which dacoit?” asked Arun Jaitley.
“All consumers items like soaps, shampoos, paper etc that are now being taxed at 18% under the GST used to be taxed at 31% during 55 years of Congress rule. If Rahul Gandhi calls these slashed tax rates ‘Gabbar Singh Tax, then the higher tax rates of 31 per cent should be named after which dacoit,” Arun Jaitley had asked in an interview with a private news channel.
In an election rally in Gujarat, Gandhi claimed that the Congress’ GST was a simple tax regime with a cap not exceeding 18 per cent, but the BJP-led government did everything opposite to what the Congress had said. “We have told them, and continue to tell them, that this GST will have to be changed, to be made simple. This has to be done or the country will face a big loss. This is the truth of the country,” Gandhi had said.
Recently, in the 23rd GST Council meeting, the tax rates on 178 products were brought down from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. Arun Jaitley had further hinted at more GST rate cuts in future depending on “revenue buoyancy”. He also rejected moving to the single taxation system, saying said it was not fair to put luxury or sin items under the same tax umbrella as food. As India slowly adapts to the new GST regime, the government is likely to merge 12 per cent and 18 per cent tax slabs soon, some reports stated.