1:48 am - Monday November 9, 2015

Now, Centre wants Narendra Modi’s rallies to be taxed

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Narendra Modi shares his vision of 'brand India' in 5 Ts
Narendra Modi shares his vision of 'brand India' in 5 Ts

New Delhi – The confrontation between the Congress and the BJP is likely to escalate with the Centre deciding to slap service tax on rallies being addressed by Narendra Modi.

A notice issued on February 12 by the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence to the BJP’s Chandigarh office has invited angry reactions from the principal opposition party.

“You are requested to intimate within 10 days of the receipt of this letter the details of the amount collected and service tax paid, if any, in regard entry tickets various rallies organized after July 1, 2012 by the BJP/Narendra Modi in the region falling under your office,” wrote Rajesh K Arora, the directorate’s senior intelligence officer .

The BJP saw in the move yet another manifestation of the Congress party’s desperation over its failure to counter Mr Modi’s growing popularity. “Mr Modi is indeed a problem for the Congress Party. It is precisely for this reason that the Congress/UPA has used every method, fair or foul to counter him. They are still at sea how to deal with him,” Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley wrote in his latest blogpost.

“The UPA government has now invented a new curious method, which it hopes can tackle him. Absurd that it may sound, they now propose to tax Mr Modi’s rallies. Considering the mammoth crowds who gather to listen to Mr Modi all over the country, this can be Finance Minister’s faint hope of augmenting his otherwise depleting revenue,” the BJP leader added.

There were no tickets, Mr Jaitley pointed out, for Mr Modi’s rallies, and the money collected from these meetings and other places were merely part of a fund collection drive launched by the party.

He also wondered why other political parties, including the Congress, were not being targeted.

“There is no doubt that the UPA government has taken leave of all its senses,” Mr Jaitley alleged.

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