Sam Pitroda's ‘inheritance tax’ remarks spark huge row, Congress responds; BJP hits back | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Sam Pitroda's ‘inheritance tax’ remarks spark huge row, Congress responds; BJP hits back

Apr 24, 2024 03:08 PM IST

Sam Pitroda of the Congress issued a clarification over his statement on inheritance tax, claiming that his remarks were twisted.

Sam Pitroda, chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress, on Wednesday issued a clarification over his statement on inheritance tax, claiming that his remarks were twisted to deflect attention from the core issues.

Satyan Gangaram Pitroda, better known as Sam Pitroda, is a key aide to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.(PTI file photo)
Satyan Gangaram Pitroda, better known as Sam Pitroda, is a key aide to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.(PTI file photo)

“It is unfortunate that what I said as an individual on inheritance tax in the US is twisted by Godi media to divert attention from what lies PM is spreading about Congress manifesto. PM’s comments Mangal Sutra & gold snatching is simply unreal,” Sam Pitroda said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

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Sam Pitroda's clarification comes after Bharatiya Janata Party leaders slammed him over his remarks on the redistribution of wealth where he reportedly advocated an inheritance tax law in the country, even as the Congress sought to distance itself from the comments saying that his views do not always reflect the position of the party.

Also Read | Congress moves Election Commission, alleges misinformation by BJP about its Lok Sabha poll manifesto

What did Sam Pitroda say?

In an interview with news agency ANI, Sam Pitroda allegedly emphasised the need for policy toward wealth redistribution, and 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 per cent to his children, 55 per cent 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," ANI quoted Sam Pitroda as saying.

Also Read | Farooq Abdullah reacts to PM Modi's ‘mangalsutra’ remarks in Rajasthan: ‘Our Islam and Allah…’

"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.

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

"This is a policy issue. The 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.

PM Modi, BJP slammed Congress poll manifesto

PM Narendra 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.

BJP targets Congress after Sam Pitroda's comments

Several BJP leaders have hit out at the Congress after Sam Pitroda's interview.

Attacking the Congress over Sam Pitroda's remarks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a rally in Chhattisgarh, “The Congress party's dangerous intentions have come to the fore yet again. Now these people are saying they will impose inheritance tax on properties bequeathed to children by their parents.”

Home minister Amit Shah also flayed the Congress leader's remarks, saying "The appeasement politics of the Congress stand exposed today with Sam Pitroda's statement on wealth redistribution. He reaffirmed the party's intention to seize the property of the majority and distribute it among the minority.

"It yet again brings to the fore that the empowerment of India's poor, Dalits, youth, tribes, and backward classes was never on Congress's agenda," he said on X.

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 Sam 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 wrote X.

Party spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala also alleged that the Congress wanted to grab the hard-earned taxpayer 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.

BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya also came down heavily on the Congress saying “Congress has decided to destroy India”.

In a post on X, Amit Malviya said, “Congress has decided to destroy India. Now, Sam Pitroda advocates a 50 percent inheritance tax for wealth redistribution. This means 50 percent of whatever we build, with all our hard work and enterprise, will be taken away. 50 percent, besides all the tax we pay, which too will go up, if Congress prevails.”

What Congress said on Sam Pitroda

Meanwhile, Congress general secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh said Sam Pitroda expressed his opinions freely on issues he felt 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," Jairam 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.

(With inputs from agencies)

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