EPF row: Modi works for industrialists, taxes salaried class, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of promoting the interest of a few select industrialists and “those with black money”, while imposing tax on life-long savings of the salaried class.

Addressing a rally in poll-bound Assam, Gandhi said Modi’s personal attacks do not affect him and vowed to put pressure on the government till it rolls back the proposal of levying tax on EPF withdrawals. “This Prime Minister allows thieves to turn their black money to white under the recent budget’s ‘fair and lovely scheme’, but taxes the life-long savings of the honest salaried class,” he said. “I had said in the media and also to the Prime Minister not to tax the salaried class on their honest savings and do something about it. But in his one-hour speech in Parliament on Thursday, there was not a single mention about this,” he said.

Gandhi said that he would continue to fight for the salaried class and put pressure on the government which “works for a selected group of industrialists and those with black money.” “I’ll continue to pressurise this government as it is not the government of the honest working class…it is not the government of poor farmers, backward classes, youths, women, dalit, adivasis and minorities,” he said. Gandhi said that in Parliament he had asked Modi four questions on his promises of bringing back black money and depositing Rs 15 lakh in everybody’s bank account, the recent budget proposal of “turning black money to white”, Rohith Vemula’s suicide, Kanhaiya Kumar and JNU and finally about the number of youths employed as a result of his ‘Make in India’ scheme.

“Have I asked anything wrong? Did I say anything personal? Modiji, in his hour-long speech, instead of giving a reply to these questions, quoted former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi and launched a personal attack on me,” Gandhi said. “The Prime Minister’s post is very dignified and he should not have made personal attacks, but I did not mind. He does not give answers, but only makes promises which are hollow,” he said.