Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said his party would introduce a simpler tax regime and scrap the contention Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 if voted to power.
He also came down heavily on the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government for creating a situation of fear and distrust making people “kill their own”.
“We have decided to introduce a simpler, uniform GST (goods and services tax) with minimum tax if we form the government. Congress knows how not to have five different tax slabs,” he said at a rally in Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar, kicking off his party’s poll campaign in the eight-state north-east region comprising 25 Lok Sabha seats.
Mr. Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of making false promises such as providing jobs to two crore youth and for “snatching away” the special status of the north-eastern states as well as the North East Industrial Policy. “We will give the region the status it deserves,” he said.
Referring to the death of three protestors in police firing in Itanagar last month, the Congress president said it was an example of how an atmosphere of fear and distrust under the BJP rule has made people kill their own in Arunachal Pradesh and elsewhere in the country.
In Itanagar and later in Manipur capital Imphal, Mr. Gandhi said that his party would protect the culture of the people of the region. “We won’t allow the Citizenship Bill to be passed in the Parliament, as it will affect the language and culture in the north-east,” he said.
In Imphal, Mr. Gandhi paid floral tributes to a monument dedicated to freedom fighters and visited the all-women Ima Market.
The Congress president is scheduled to address a party rally in Tripura on Wednesday.