Arun Jaitley, Amit Shah slam Rahul’s remarks on GST and ‘Gujarat model’
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on GST and Gujarat model have invited sharp reaction from the ruling party with two top leaders, party President Amit Shah and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley dismissing Mr. Gandhi’s remarks that he made during his three-day Navsarjan Yatra in South Gujarat that ended on Friday.
“I believe he has no understanding of GST and he has not studied the subject. All Congress ruled states were on board of all major decisions taken by the GST Council,” Mr. Jaitley told the media, responding to Mr. Gandhi’s criticism that GST has severely affected small and medium enterprises and small businesses and traders in the country.
Mr. Jaitley stressed that despite teething problems, GST will benefit the country’s economy in the long run and its introduction has ushered in an era of ease of doing business that has also been recognised by the World Bank.
As election in-charge for the Gujarat Assembly polls, Mr. Jaitley was in Ahmedabad to attend meetings to take stock of the poll preparations.
He also defended the NDA government demonetisation move that has invited criticism from various quarters, including the International Monetary Fund, which said the move had hit India’s growth.
“We have some goals attached to demonetisation exercise. The Congress party, during its rule, never waged war against black money and did not take any major step. Our goals were to achieve broadened taxation base, increased digital transactions and reduction in cash currency,” the Finance Minister added.
In Kutch, party President Amit Shah asked a series of questions in response to Mr Gandhi’s criticism of Gujarat model of development. He was launching his campaign tour in his home State.
“I want to ask the Congress leader why clearance for Narmada project was not given during the UPA regime and why Kutch and Gandhinagar were not given special grants when Congress was in power,” Mr. Shah said, while briefing mediapersons in Gandhidhan, Kutch.
According to him, Gujarat faced maximum discrimination during the UPA regime and people of Gujarat will remember that while voting for the assembly polls next month.
Both leaders accused the Congress party of playing caste politics to capture power in Gujarat.