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Congress distances itself from Sam Pitroda's remarks on inheritance tax amid sharp reaction by BJP

Sam Pitroda's remarks on inheritance tax or wealth redistribution added fuel to the ongoing political outrage over PM Modi's statement in which he claimed the Congress wants to redistribute the wealth of people, including mangalsutra of women among infiltrators.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Published on: April 24, 2024 11:05 IST
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh
Image Source : PTI Congress leader Jairam Ramesh

Congress on Wednesday distanced itself from Indian Overseas Congress chairman Sam Pitroda's statement in which he has advocated for a United States-like inheritance tax in India and backed Congress' stand on wealth redistribution plans. 

Hours after Pitroda's video surfaced triggering a political outrage amid intense Lok Sabha elections campaigns, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh defended his party saying Pitroda's opinion does not reflect the position of the party.  

"Sam Pitroda has been a mentor, friend, philosopher, and guide to many across the world, including me. He has made numerous, enduring contributions to India's developments. He is President of the Indian Overseas Congress. Mr Pitroda expresses his opinions freely on issues he feels strongly about. Surely, in a democracy an individual is at liberty to discuss, express, and debate his personal views. This does not mean that Mr. Pitroda's views always reflect the position of the Indian National Congress. Many times they do not. Sensationalising his comments now and tearing them out of context are deliberate and desperate attempts at diverting attention away from Mr. Narenda Modi's malicious and mischievous election campaign; that is anchored ONLY in lies and more lies," Ramesh posted a note on X.

What exactly Pitroda said

Pitroda cited the US's inheritance tax provisions to support Congress' alleged plan to redistribute assets in the country. The senior Congress leader said in the United States, there is an inheritance tax according to which the government is entitled to claim 55 per cent share of a person's wealth while the owner can transfer only 45 per cent share to his children or family.

"...In America, there is an inheritance tax. If one has $100 million worth of wealth and when he dies he can only transfer probably 45 per cent to his children, 55 per cent is grabbed by the government. That's an interesting law. It says you in your generation, made wealth and you are leaving now, you must leave your wealth for the public, not all of it, half of it, which to me sounds fair. In India, you don't have that. If somebody is worth 10 billion and he dies, his children get 10 billion and the public gets nothing... So these are the kind of issues people will have to debate and discuss," Sam Pitroda was heard saying in the video. 

"I don't know what the conclusion would be at the end of the day but when we talk about redistributing wealth, we are talking about new policies and new programs that are in the interest of the people and not in the interest of super-rich only," he added.

BJP attacks Congress

Moments after Pitroda's video went viral on social media, BJP's IT cell Amit Malviya attacked Congress, saying the grand old party has decided to destroy the country.

"Congress has decided to destroy India. Now, Sam Pitroda advocates 50% inheritance tax for wealth redistribution. This means 50% of whatever we build, with all our hard work and enterprise, will be taken away. 50%, besides all the tax we pay, which too will go up, if the Congress prevails," he posted on X.

Also read: Sam Pitroda advocates 50 per cent inheritance tax in India, backs Congress' stand on wealth redistribution

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