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Jairam Ramesh challenges BJP's 'wealth redistribution' remark, clarifies Congress manifesto stance

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh rebukes BJP's claim of wealth redistribution in the Congress manifesto, emphasizing that not a single word suggests such measure.

Edited By: Vaidehi Jahagirdar New Delhi Updated on: April 25, 2024 14:07 IST
Jairam Ramesh
Image Source : PTI (FILE IMAGE) Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh launched a scathing attack on the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, disputing BJP's assertion of wealth redistribution being mentioned in the Congress manifesto. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, in a press conference, challenged the BJP's claim, stating that not a single word in the party's 50-page manifesto hinted at wealth redistribution.

"The PM says that our manifesto talks about wealth redistribution. I challenge him that in our 50-page manifesto, there is not one word that hints at wealth redistribution," the senior Congress leader said. 

During the press conference, Ramesh elucidated on the formulation process of the "Nyay Patra" (Congress manifesto), indicating that it was crafted based on the concerns and grievances expressed by the people during the "Bharat Jodo Yatra and Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra."

He said, "Because of PM Modi's policies in the last 10 years, unemployment and inflation increased. Economic disparity reached a new high, which was not seen in the last 100 years. We've been stressing on Nari Nyay, Yuva Nyay, Kisan Nyaya, Shramik Nyay, and Hissedari Nyay. We gave 25 guarantees, according to that. We have a positive agenda. PM has now stopped saying '400 paar' and 'Modi ki Guarantee'. He has panicked and is using the language of polarization."

Responding to questions regarding the upcoming second phase of voting, Ramesh asserted that the BJP was facing difficulties, with Modi resorting to diverting the agenda and promoting misinformation about the Congress manifesto. He said, 

"BJP is in trouble. The PM is baffled. Since April 19th, he has been trying to take the whole agenda in a different direction. He tried to give a communal angle to our manifesto, after which he raised some issues that are not in our manifesto. He is publicizing our manifesto during his election rallies. Even though this publicity is wrong, it is based on lies. Still, this is the first time that the PM is publicizing the opposition's manifesto."

Meanwhile, the Congress leader also clarified the party's stance on inheritance tax amid an uproar over Sam Pitroda's remarks. He said, "I want to clarify one thing. There is no mention of inheritance tax in our manifesto; it is not on our agenda. The truth is that in 1985, PM Rajiv Gandhi abolished the inheritance tax. We never mentioned anything about inheritance tax."

Earlier, on Wednesday, Indian Overseas Congress chairman Sam Pitroda, in the midst of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024, stoked controversy over his advocacy for a United States-like inheritance tax in India and backed Congress' stand on wealth redistribution plans.

Explaining the inheritance tax regime followed in the US, Sam Pitroda has said that there is an inheritance tax according to which the US government is entitled to claim a 55 percent share of a person's wealth while the owner can transfer only a 45 percent 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, can only transfer probably 45 percent of it to his children, 55 percent 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, but 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 kinds of issues people will have to debate and discuss," Sam Pitroda said.

"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 the super-rich only," the chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress added.



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