Mumbai: The BJP today warned of intensifying its agitation against the long-pending issue of Local Body Tax (LBT) if the Maharashtra government fails to abolish it in next 10 days.
“We have been agitating since last 2-3 years (to abolish LBT). We now ask the state government to abolish the LBT within next 10 days. If they fail to do so, we will intensify our agitation against LBT and gherao the CM,” BJP Mumbai unit president Ashish Shelar told reporters here. Shelar accused the state government and especially Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan of forcefully imposing LBT on Maharashtra in 2010.
He alleged that LBT will give rise to tax evasion practices, which will ultimately harm the economy. “We have been constantly speaking about the demerits of LBT. One of it is that it will bring back Inspector Raj system in Maharashtra. LBT will also increase the scope of tax evasion. This will become a hurdle for the industrial and economic growth of the state and of the country,” Shelar said. He said the Maharashtra government should consider adopting the Gujarat Model as far as LBT and Value Added Tax (VAT) is concerned.
“We have told the state government that the whole country has accepted the Gujarat Model of Development. Even the government of Maharashtra should consider adopting it on these two fronts,” he said.
When asked if the BJP was trying to take credit for the abolishing LBT before the upcoming Assembly elections, Shelar said that the BJP believed in giving facilities to the common man more than garnering credit. “We have agitated against LBT to such an extent that Gopinath Munde had to even go to jail for this,” he added.
Asked to comment on yesterday's Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) statement which criticised BJP for not declaring its Chief Ministerial candidate before the Assembly polls, Shelar said it was “childish”. “The statement that the MPCC released yesterday was childish. Can they answer for sure if Prithviraj Chavan will continue as the Chief Minister in the future,” Shelar asked.