SURAT: Forty-two years after it broke box office records, posters of Bollywood superhit “Sholay” made an appearance in Surat, the financial capital of Gujarat. But in the election-bound state, their message was political. Carrying hashtags of #ReformGST, #SaveSurat and #SaveGujarat, the posters appeared at the venue of a rally by Rahul Gandhi.
The Congress vice president has taken out a leaf from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s book, labelling GST or the Goods and Services Tax as Gabbar Singh Tax after the arch-villain of “Sholay”. The GST, his party contends, has brought lakhs of small traders “to their knees” and asks them to punish the BJP by voting against it in next month’s assembly elections.
The posters that appeared today at a Congress rally featured Sanjeev Kumar, who played the role of Thakur Baldev Singh and carried a tweaked version of one of the memorable dialogues of the film.
Mr Gandhi’s visit to Gujarat took place on the anniversary of Prime Minister Narendra’s Modi’s shock announcement last year, banning high denomination notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 in an effort to fight corruption and black money. Its immediate effect included a nationwide cash crunch and millions queuing up outside banks to exchange currency.
The Congress – which is seeking to wrest Gujarat from the BJP that has ruled the state for the last 22 years — has dubbed demonetisation anniversary a “Black Day”.
The party vice president held a candle-light vigil on near the Vivekanand statue in Chowk Bazar area of Surat city. In his campaigns in Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi has launched aggressive attacks on PM Modi and his government over both the notes ban and GST.
The government is celebrating the anniversary of demonetisation as “Anti-Black Money Day”. This morning, PM Modi tweeted a seven-minute film, which, he said, encapsulates “the benefits of demonetisation”. “125 crore Indians fought a decisive battle and WON,” he also said.
15th Meeting of the GST Council to be held tomorrow, 3rd June, 2017 – Approval of amendments to the draft GST Rules and related forms and Finalisation of the rates of tax and cess on the remaining commodities are on the Agenda among others for tomorrow’s meeting.
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