The Congress Vice-President, Rahul Gandhi, has welcomed the reduction in Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates on a number of items, but said his party was still not satisfied and would continue to fight relentlessly till the government was forced to make the necessary structural changes in it.
Gandhi began his three-day 'Navsarjan Yatra', the election campaign for his party in the north Gujarat region, with a visit to the Akshardham Swaminarayan temple in Gandhinagar.
He claimed that it was due to the 'strong opposition by the Congress and relentless pressure from the people of India' that the Modi government was forced to reduce GST rates on a number of items. 'Achhi baat hai. Congress party aur Hindustan ki janta ne BJP par dabaav dala aur 28 per cent se kaafi items unhone 18 per cent mein laa diye (It is a good thing that due to pressure from the Congress and citizens of India, the BJP government has brought a lot of items from 28 per cent to 18 per cent tax bracket),' he said.
'However, we are not happy and we shall not stop with this. India does not need five different taxes but one tax. The GST needs structural change.'
The Congress leader said his party would continue to exert pressure on the government to bring about the necessary structural changes in the GST if the Modi administration was prepared to listen .'If it does not happen, we will bring about the structural changes and give you back the GST when the Congress comes to power at the Centre,' he said.
Rahul Gandhi assured women that the Congress would fulfill its promise of enhanced representation for them in the legislatures. 'We have promised you that we would give more seats to women in Assembly polls and when time comes, we will make good of our promise.'
In Ahmedabad, the Union Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, in a scathing attack on the Congress, said she wondered with what face Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders were 'roaming around Gujarat' and seeking votes for the party after 'opposing tooth and nail' the Narmada dam project and coming in the way of Gujarat’s development.
She advocated 'continuity of development' as one of the other main reasons why the people of Gujarat should vote the BJP back to power. 'The people of Gujarat very much understand the importance of development and to achieve this, it is necessary that the same government continues. If there is a break, Gujarat’s development may also suffer,' she said.
Meanwhile, the former Union Finance Minister and Congress leader, P Chidambaram, tweeted: 'Ministry of Finance must be complimented for ‘improving’ the macro-economic situation in four months and 10 days! Four months and 10 days is the time taken for common sense to germinate, flower and ripen into a fruit.'