After senior Congress leader P Chidambaram thanked Gujarat for forcing BJP government to reduce GST rates on several items, Congress on Saturday chose to credit party vice-president Rahul Gandhi for the GST Council’s decision.
“ GST Council on Friday decided to cut the tax rates due to the pressure mounted by Rahul Gandhi and the huge response he had been receiving in the poll-bound Gujarat,” Congress general secretary in-charge of Gujarat, Ashok Gehlot told PTI.
Gandhi has led Congress’ charge in poll bound Gujarat and has made GST and demonetisation as key issues of his campaign. His speech at a rally in Gandhinagar on Saturday touched on the same topics.
“We are not happy. We want the ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’ to be abolished and people get one tax slab of GST. We want only one 18 percent tax slab. If BJP does not do it we will do it in 2019,” Gandhi said.
“Gabbar Singh Tax” is what Rahul calls the Goods and Services Tax, or GST.
Earlier on Friday, Chidambaram tweeted “Thank You Gujarat” after GST Council announced a big haul of GST.
Thank you Gujarat. Your elections did what Parliament and common sense could not do.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) November 10, 2017
Meanwhile, an individual filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Gujarat high court against the state Election Commission and the chairman of the GST Council, terming the government’s decision to cut down taxes as “illegal”.
The petitioner, Sandeep Sharma, a cable operator, claimed the timing of the GST Council meet was “politically motivated” and was “not appropriate” considering the code of conduct in place.
The GST Council on Friday cut down tax rates on 200 items at a meet in Guwahati. As many as 178 items of daily use were shifted from the top tax bracket of 28 per cent to 18 per cent.