"Taxes For Rich Waived, Imposed On Poor": Arvind Kejriwal Slams Centre

"They brought Agnipath scheme saying they have no money for pensions. It has never happened since independence that the country is left with no money to pay pension to soldiers," Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal slammed the centre over taxes and price rise

New Delhi:

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind today alleged the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been piling on taxes on the masses but waiving it off for the rich. The BJP hit back, challenging Mr Kejriwal to prove his allegations within 24 hours.

His comment comes amid a fight between the ruling BJP and opposition parties over the issue of freebies, or "revdi culture", which the centre has alleged is a method that leaders as the Delhi Chief Minister often uses to keep voters happy.

"They brought Agnipath scheme saying they have no money for pensions. It has never happened since independence that the country is left with no money to pay pension to soldiers," Mr Kejriwal said.

PM Modi during the inauguration of an expressway in Bundelkhand on July 16 had cautioned people against what he called a "revdi (sweet) culture" under which votes were sought by promising freebies, that this could be "very dangerous" for development of the country. BJP leader Amit Malviya also today brushed off Mr Kejriwal's allegations as "brazen lies."

BJP leaders had attacked Mr Kejriwal over freebies for the people of the national capital, which they claimed had put severe stress on public finance. Hitting back, Mr Kejriwal had pointed out that his "free" government's programmes helped people come out of poverty and ensured quality services like health and education reached the poorest of the poor.

"Where has the central government's money gone? The central government shares a part of taxes it collects with the states. Earlier, it was 42 per cent. Now it has been cut to 29-30 per cent. The centre is collecting twice-thrice the amount of taxes it collected in 2014. Where is all the money going?" Mr Kejriwal said.

"We are about to celebrate 75 years since independence. The centre has taxed gehu-chawal of the poor, which has never happened. It is a cruel thing to do. Tax on gehu, tax on chawal, tax on gur, tax on lassi, tax on paneer...how did it get so bad that the centre has to tax the food of poor people?" Mr Kejriwal said.

"The centre's budget in 2014 was Rs 20 lakh crore, today it is Rs 40 lakh crore. The centre has spent Rs 10 lakh crore on waiving off loans of super rich people, their friends. Had they not waived off these loans, the government wouldn't need to tax people's food, they would have money to pay soldiers' pensions. The government has also waived off Rs 5 lakh crore worth of taxes of big, big companies too," Mr Kejriwal alleged.

BJP leader Amit Malviya tweeted all the allegations by Mr Kejriwal were "brazen lies." "Centre hasn't waived off loans but recovered Rs 6.5 lakh crore since 2014-15. Nowhere has the centre said that Agniveer is to cut pension bill. The Modi government has all the money for our armed forces. There is no tax on loose food items. States levied VAT (value added tax) earlier," Mr Malviya tweeted.

"The bunch of lies continues...Centre hasn't cut MNREGA allocation. States aren't able to spend. The Modi government's Ayushman Bharat is the biggest healthcare programme in the world. Kejriwal hasn't set up a single hospital in Delhi. The centre is providing free food to 80 crore people," the BJP leader tweeted.

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