'Centre Waives Off Taxes for Rich, but Imposes It on Poor': Arvind Kejriwal
The BJP, meanwhile, accused Kejriwal of using "freebies" as a ruse to gain votes in elections.
As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) continue their tussle over "freebies" and the "revdi culture," Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday, 11 August, attacked the Centre for overburdening the poor with taxes, while providing tax waivers for the rich.
The BJP government at the Centre, on the other hand, accused Kejriwal of using "freebies" as a ruse to gain votes during elections.
Terming the "revdi (sweet) culture" very dangerous, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16 July asked people not to fall for the "freebie tactics, under which votes are sought by promising freebies." He said this while inaugurating an expressway in Bundelkhand.
Kejriwal Slams Centre Over Agnipath Scheme, Taxes on 'Chawal, Gehu'
Kejriwal, meanwhile, hit out at the Centre's Agnipath scheme, saying, "They brought Agnipath scheme saying they have no money for pensions. It has never happened since independence that the country is left with no money to pay pension to soldiers."
"Where has the central government's money gone? The central government shares a part of the taxes it collects with the states. Earlier, it was 42 per cent. Now it has been cut to 29-30 percent. The centre is collecting twice-thrice the amount of taxes it collected in 2014. Where is all the money going?" Kejriwal further said as per NDTV.
"We are about to celebrate 75 years since independence. The centre has taxed gehu-chawal of the poor, which has never happened. It is a cruel thing to do. Tax on gehu, chawal, gur, lassi, paneer...how did it get so bad that the centre has to tax the food of poor people?" Kejriwal said.
"The centre's budget in 2014 was ₹ 20 lakh crore, today it is ₹ 40 lakh crore. The centre has spent ₹ 10 lakh crore on waiving off loans of super rich people, their friends. Had they not waived off these loans, the government wouldn't need to tax people's food, they would have money to pay soldiers' pensions. The government has also waived off ₹ 5 lakh crore worth of taxes of big, big companies too," he added.
Kejriwal Has Given People 'Free Corruption, Pollution, Ads & Liquor': BJP
The BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla further retorted on Thursday, saying the "revdi culture is about dishing out lollipops for political gains and it makes no transformation to people's lives. It misuses taxpayers' money with the rich benefiting at the cost of the poor."
Speaking at a press conference, Poonawalla said that AAP leader Kejriwal defended the "freebie" culture though PM Modi had not named anyone while critiquing the scheme.
Referring to Kejriwal's promise of opening 500 new schools, Poonawalla claimed that two two dozen schools were shut in reality and accused him of giving people "free corruption, pollution, advertisements and liquor" instead of free education, water, health and electricity."
More than 700 of the 1,027 schools run by the Delhi government do not have science and commerce teachers in Classes 11 and 12, and over 745 schools don't have principals, he claimed. "Nearly 418 schools have no vice principal and 40,000 seats meant for the economically weaker sections had not been filled according to the RTE act and the court had come down hard on this," he added.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman accused Kejriwal of giving a "perverse twist" to freebies on health and education.
She said, "Arvind Kejriwal is giving a perverse twist to freebies on Health and Education. This is to scare the public. We want a debate and discussion on freebies."
What Did the SC Say?
The Supreme Court, while examining the issue of political parties promising freebies before elections on Thursday, made it clear that it will not enter into the area of deregistering political parties for the same.
A bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Krishna Murari said that entertaining a request like this would go against the principles of democracy and cannot be permitted, Bar and Bench reported.
On the public interest litigation (PIL) by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, CJI Ramana said, “I do not want to enter the area of deregistering political party etc as it's an undemocratic arena. We are a democracy after all.”
(With inputs from NDTV, PTI)
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