PM Modi ups ante against Congress, says Rajiv Gandhi abolished inheritance law to ‘save own interests’

New Delhi, April 25 : Upping the ante against the Congress on the ‘inheritance tax’ issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched another scathing attack on the grand old party, saying it was former PM Rajiv Gandhi who abolished the inheritance law “to save their own interests” after the demise of his mother Indira Gandhi.

Addressing a series of election rallies in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, PM Modi said that he wanted to share an “interesting fact” with the country.

“When Mrs. Indira Gandhi passed away, her property was supposed to go to her children. Had the previous law been in place, the government would have taken a portion of it. At that time, there was a talk that to save the property, her son and then Prime Minister (Rajiv Gandhi) simply abolished the inheritance law. When it came to their own interests, they removed the law,” said Prime Minister Modi.

“Today, driven by the greed for power once again, these people want to reintroduce the same law. After accumulating limitless wealth for generations without taxes on their families, now they want to impose taxes on your inheritance. That’s why the country is saying ‘Congress ki loot, zindagi ke saath bhi, zindagi ke baad bhi’,” he added.

Later in the day, PM Modi addressed rallies in UP’s Agra and Aonla where he again said that Congress will set a “dangerous precedent” by implementing an inheritance tax.

“The Congress-SP and INDI Alliance plans to impose a 55 per cent tax on your inheritance. This means they’ll seize a significant portion of what you leave for your children. If you build a four-room house, only two rooms will go to your children, and the rest shall be seized by Congress-SP.

“Similarly, if you own 10 bighas of land, only five bighas will be inherited by your children, the rest will be confiscated by Congress-SP. Are you ready to surrender your property to them,” he asked.

PM Modi also accused the Congress of hatching a “deep conspiracy”.

“One of the Congress leaders is talking about conducting an X-ray of people’s assets across the country. Whatever you earn, the Mangalsutra, gold, and silver that our mothers and sisters have, Congress wants to seize them and distribute them among their vote bank supporters. Even the wealth left after you leave this world won’t go to your sons and daughters. Congress wants to snatch more than half of your earnings. For this, Congress wants to impose an inheritance tax on you,” he said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Chairman of Indian Overseas Congress, Sam Pitroda – who had earlier worked with Rajiv Gandhi and is now considered close to Rahul Gandhi – created a massive storm with his remarks on inheritance tax in America.

Emphasising that it was former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who had abolished the inheritance tax in 1985, Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that there is “no mention” of it in the party’s 2024 manifesto.

“I want to clarify one thing. There is no mention of Inheritance Tax in our manifesto, it is not our agenda. The truth is, in 1985, PM Rajiv Gandhi abolished the Inheritance Tax. We never mentioned anything about Inheritance Tax and it is not part of our agenda,” Ramesh said on Wednesday.

Even as the Congress went into a damage-control mode and distanced itself from Pitroda’s statement, the BJP said the comments made by the senior leader have unveiled the “true intentions” of the party.

Home Minister Amit Shah accused the Congress of having never prioritised the empowerment of India’s poor, Dalits, youth, tribals, and backward classes.

“The idea of ‘survey’ was initially introduced in the Congress manifesto. During his tenure as the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh stated that minorities have the primary claim on the country’s resources. Such ideology has long been associated with the Congress legacy. Now, Sam Pitroda, drawing parallels with America, has advocated for discussions on wealth distribution and the implementation of inheritance tax,” Shah said.

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