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Sam Pitroda’s Inheritance Tax Comments Spark Political Firestorm in India

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A controversy has ignited in Indian politics following statements about inheritance tax and wealth redistribution, with key figures from both the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expressing strong, divergent views.

Sam Pitroda, Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress, highlighted the absence of an inheritance tax in India, suggesting it as a means for wealth redistribution.

“In America, there is an inheritance tax…you must leave your wealth for the public, not all of it, half of it, which to me sounds fair,” Pitroda stated, adding that in India, the entire wealth can pass to the heirs without any portion benefitting the public.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded sharply to the suggestion, linking it to Congress’s alleged broader agenda to impose heavy taxes on the middle class and undermine familial wealth transmission. “The claws of Congress will snatch that too from you…As long as you are alive, Congress will impose higher taxes and when you are no longer alive, it will burden you with Inheritance Tax,” Modi declared, criticizing the Congress party’s historical management of wealth and property.

Shashi Tharoor, a senior Congress leader, refuted these claims, emphasizing that personal opinions within the party do not reflect the official stance. “What Sam Pitoda has said is not in the manifesto…This is such preposterous attacks that we are seeing from the BJP. It is a measure of their desperation,” Tharoor defended.

BJP leader Shehzad Poonawalla accused Congress of concealing their true intentions regarding wealth redistribution, asserting that Pitroda’s statements reveal deeper party motives. “People should know, that one vote for Congress means 55% of your land holding being taken away and given to a vote bank,” Poonawalla claimed.

Jairam Ramesh, General Secretary in-charge of Communications for the Congress, criticized the BJP’s focus on Pitroda’s comments as a distraction tactic from more pressing issues. “Sam Pitroda expresses his views…very freely. That’s part of democracy…his comments are torn out of context and they are being sensationalised,” Ramesh explained, attempting to distance the party from Pitroda’s personal opinions.

As the debate unfolds, the discourse surrounding taxation and wealth distribution continues to be a focal point in the ideological clash between India’s major political parties, each accusing the other of misrepresenting facts and intentions ahead of pivotal elections.

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