GST, noteban double whammy, torpedoed economy: Rahul

GST, noteban double whammy, torpedoed economy: Rahul

Hitting out at Narendra Modi, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that the prime minister had failed to grasp the feelings of the people on note ban and GST - decisions that struck the economy two torpedoes.

Rahul chaired a meeting of top party leaders after which the Congress said that November 8 the first anniversary of demonetisation would be observed as black day across the country and party workers would take out rallies in the morning and candle light marches at 8:00 p.m. when the prime minister had made his dramatic announcement last year.

"The noteban annouced by the prime minister was an out and out disaster. I don't know what is there to celebrate. The economy is in tatters now," Rahul told reporters after two back-to-back meetings to assess the impact of note-ban and GST.

The meeting on note-ban was attended by AICC General Secretaries and state in-charges, while former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former union ministers P Chidambaram and Jairam Ramesh and Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal joined them for discussions on GST.

The theme of the Congress protests planned across all district and state headquarters would be 'Bhugat Raha hai Desh' (India continues to suffer) and Rahul is expected to join the protestors on November 8, which he had described as the "death anniversary" of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes.

Last week, the Congress had announced plans to observe 'Black Day' on November 8. The BJP countered it by declaring that the day would be celebrated as 'anti-black money day'.

On Sunday, the prime minister said he was ready to pay any price but would not roll back reform measures announced by his government. At the same time he had said the government was open to making changes to improve the GST regime.

The Congress has decided to highlight note-ban and "faulty" implementation of the GST as key issues in poll-bound Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and keep away from politics of polarisation the BJP is trying to espouse, a senior leader said.

Rahul told the meeting of senior leaders that the BJP and the prime minister had "sold GST and demonetisation as panacea to provide relief to the people". "However, demonetisation and GST have turned out to be a double whammy in the life of the poor," Congress' chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala quoted Rahul as saying.

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