Congress hits back at Amit Shah over RS speech

New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday slammed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah over his statement on Pakoda sellers and Goods and Services Tax (GST) at the Rajya Sabha.

“It is very unfortunate that our country’s youth who are talented and educated in various professions are sitting unemployed, and the ruling party is telling them to go and sell pakodas,” Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan told ANI.

He added, “Never has any ruling party in the past made such a despicable and disgraceful remark.”

Ranjan also hit out at Shah’s statement that the GST was brought after all parties’ consensus.

“The fact that he has to give a justification is proof enough that he realizes he made a mistake. GST was Congress’ proposal but we wanted to implement 14.5 percent and BJP took it to 28 percent. With the labour cost added, it increases to as high as 46 percent,” he said.

Congress leader Nasir Hussain also criticised Shah for including “vendors as jobs creation by their government.”

“Post GST and demonetisation, the employment has come down, so now they feel that even selling pakodas, rolling bidis, rolling incense sticks,” Hussain added.

Terming the GST a scheme to loot people, Hussain further said, “People of this country have realized what demonetisation and GST have done to them. This is why they (BJP) had come very close to getting defeated in Gujarat and they lost all the by-elections from Rajasthan to West Bengal.”

In his maiden speech at the Upper House on Monday, Shah hit back at former finance minister and Congress leader P. Chidambaram for comparing pakora seller to a beggar, and said it was better to sell ‘pakodas’ than stay unemployed.

In defence of the GST launched by the NDA government, Shah stated that the taxation system was implemented after everyone’s consensus.