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BJP rips into Sam Pitroda's inheritance tax suggestion, Congress distances itself from comments

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party leaders on Wednesday slammed Sam Pitroda over his remarks on the redistribution of wealth where the Chairman of Indian Overseas Congress advocated an inheritance tax law in the country while Congress distanced itself from the comments saying that his views do not always reflect the position of the party. 

In a post on X, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "Family Advisor is spilling the beans - their intention is ‘organised loot and legalised plunder’ of your hard-earned money."

BJP spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill also slammed Pitroda saying that voters need to be aware of property snatchers 

"Cat is out of the Bag! Rahul Gandhi’s main advisor Sam Pitroda “hua to hua” Fame proposes “inheritance tax” like US where Govt takes 50 per cent+ of your wealth! Voting for Congress = Losing your Money + Property + Belongings! Voters be aware, property snatchers are here!" Shergill posted on X. 

Party spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala also alleged that the Congress wanted to grab the hard earned tax paidr resources of people.

"Congress, through Sam Pitroda the closest aide of Gandhi Vadra family, is essentially saying that 55% of what you earn will be taken away on your death. If you are a farmer- 55% of your land will be taken If you are a businessman - 55% of your business will be taken 55% of your savings you kept for your children Ironically Gandhis built a huge treasury for their own children & son in law but they want to grab your hard earned tax payed resources," Poonawala said in a post on X.

Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary (Communications), Jairam Ramesh said that Pitroda expresses his opinions freely on issues he feels strongly about, however, that does not always reflect the stand 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 the President of the Indian Overseas Congress. 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," Ramesh posted on X. 

"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 Narendra Modi's malicious and mischievous election campaign; which is anchored ONLY in lies and more lies," he added. 

Earlier, emphasizing the need for policy toward wealth redistribution, Pitroda elaborated on the concept of inheritance tax prevailing in America.

"In America, there is an inheritance tax. If one has 100 million USD worth of wealth and when he dies he can only transfer probably 45 percent 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, half of it, which to me sounds fair," Pitroda said.

"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. 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," he added.

Pitroda also said that the subject of wealth distribution is strictly a 'policy issue' and he feels concerned about Prime Minister Modi after his remarks on the Congress manifesto.

"This is a policy issue. Congress party would frame a policy through which the wealth distribution would be better. We don't have a minimum wage (in India). If we come up with a minimum wage in the country saying you must pay so much money to the poor, that's the distribution of wealth. Today, rich people don't pay their peons, servants, and home help enough but they spend that money on vacation in Dubai and London...When you talk about the distribution of wealth, it is not that you sit on a chair and say I have this much money and I'll be distributing it to everybody," Pitroda said.

Prime Minister Modi and the BJP have criticised the Congress manifesto saying the poll document smacks of appeasement and that if it came to power, it would redistribute people's wealth and also give reservations to Muslims from the quota for SC, ST, and OCB communities.

In India, the concept of levying tax on inheritance does not exist as of now. In fact, the Inheritance or Estate Tax was abolished with effect from 1985.

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