Shah's maiden RS speech slams Cong leaders

Shah's maiden RS speech slams Cong leaders

Shah's maiden RS speech slams Cong leaders

BJP president Amit Shah on Monday slammed Congress president Rahul Gandhi for mocking the NDA government on the Goods and Services tax (GST).

In his maiden speech in the Rajya Sabha that lasted for nearly 90 minutes, Shah wondered whether the Congress was inciting the people not to pay taxes, as Rahul described the GST as Gabbar Singh Tax.

"Gabbar Singh was a dacoit in the film in Sholay. Is a dacoity taking place here? Is legally claiming taxes from people a dacoity? Is this the understanding of people? Is it good politics to instigate people not to pay tax," he said.

"And where does this Gabbar Singh Tax go? It goes in the bank account of a soldier for giving One Rank, One Pension, it goes in the bank account of widows of martyrs. It goes towards giving the poor women clean cooking fuel. On some issues you should rise above politics," he said.

Shah didn't spare former finance minister P Chidambaram, who ridiculed Prime Minister Narendara Modi, for his comments that those who sell pakoda (fritters) and earn Rs 200 a day can't be called unemployed.

"It is better for a youth to earn living selling pakodas instead of being unemployed. Making pakodas is not shameful, what is shameful is comparing such a person with a beggar. A chaiwala's (tea-seller) son has become the prime minister today," he said, referring to Chidambarm's comments.

After Modi's interview, Chidambaram tweeted, "Even selling pakodas is a job said PM. By that logic, even begging is a job. Let's count poor or disabled persons who are forced to beg for a living as employed people."

When Congress members noisily reacted to Shah's criticism, he retorted, "You have to hear me for the next six years."

The BJP president was elected to the Upper House in August, 2017 and was allotted a front row seat.

Armed with statistics Shah made a spirited defence of the NDA government's policies and Modi's record as the prime minister.

On the Gujarat Assembly results, Shah said after 1965 no Congress government returned to power after 22 years of rule, which the BJP managed to do in Gujarat. "But some people see win even in the loss," he quipped.