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Political slugfest over demonetization, GST

Note ban a decisive battle people fought against black money: PM

New Delhi: Demonetisation was a “decisive battle” 125 crore Indians fought against black money and won, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today even as the BJP celebrated the first anniversary of the exercise as ‘anti- black money day’ and the opposition observed a ‘black day’.

Modi also said he “bows” to the people of India for supporting the measures taken by the government against corruption and black money.

In a series of tweets on the first anniversary of note ban, Modi also posted short films on his twitter handle to showcase the benefits it brought.

He said the move formalised the Indian economy and ensured better jobs for the poor, while cleansing the financial system.

The prime minister also asked people to participate in a survey that is available on the Narendra Modi app to send him the feedback on how they feel about the government’s efforts “to uproot corruption and black money.”

While the BJP is observing the day as ‘anti-black money day’, the opposition is holding protests in several parts of the country against demonetisation.

Shah takes on Rahul Gandhi on note-ban tweet

New Delhi: BJP chief Amit Shah today took on Rahul Gandhi, who tweeted a picture of an anguished ex- serviceman to pan demonetisation, saying people will no longer be misled by such falsity and cited the former soldier’s remarks to media supporting the note ban decision.

The top leaders of the Congress and the BJP battled it out on social media platform Twitter on the first anniversary of demonetisation with Gandhi firing the first shot.

The Congress vice president posted a couplet and tagged a last year’s viral picture of Nand Lal, the septuagenarian former army soldier, which showed him in tears as he waited for his turn to withdraw currency notes following the demonetisation decision.

Seeking to embarrass Gandhi, Shah tagged a fresh interview of Nand Lal who, the report said, has come out in support of the note ban decision.

Attacking the Congress, the BJP chief said it has always grabbed power with false portrayal of the poor but it was no longer possible to dupe the country with “false tears and false pictures”.

“The real face of the Congress has been unmasked and a new India has emerged,” the BJP chief tweeted in Hindi with his own poetic barb at Gandhi.

On the first anniversary of the demonetisation decision, both the BJP and the Congress today held nation-wide events with the ruling party celebrating it as an “anti-blackmoney day” while the opposition calling it a “black day”.

Targeting Gandhi, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said he is turning Indian National Congress into “Indian Fake News Congress”.

He said it was “unfair” on Gandhi’s part to use the photo of a former soldier for his “nefarious design” and cited Lal’s remarks made in an interview favouring the note ban decision.

“Some fake photograph of his has been used by Rahul Gandhi to criticise (demonetisation). Nand Lal has been a distinguished soldier of the Army. He has retired. He has publicly supported Narendra Modi and demonetisation. It is completely unfair,” the BJP leader said.

“This is the level of Rahul Gandhi. He is determined to make Indian National Congress the Indian Fake News Congress.

At least, he must stop insulting soldiers for his nefarious design,” he said.

Prasad alleged that it was not the first time that the the Congress had tried to mislead the people. The party highlighted the pain of a “poor man” in a queue in Karnataka and that person turned out to be a rich Congress leader whose premises were raided by government agencies later, the minister claimed.

The BJP and the Congress have been sparring over the note ban issue.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had yesterday termed demonetisation as “organised loot” and “legalised plunder”.

Hitting back, Prasad had said the former prime minister “seemed to be reading scripts written by someone else, just like Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi”.

Note ban, GST have broken textile hub Surat’s legs: Rahul

Surat: Lashing out at the Centre, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today said note ban and GST rollout have broken the legs of Surat as he observed a “black day” in the country’s textile and diamond hub.

Gandhi interacted with industry representatives and workers at Nirman Industries’ loom factory in Katargam industrial development area after he arrived in the Surat city of the poll-bound Gujarat.

“There was an attack on India’s economy one year back,” he said.

“I interacted with the people here and they told me that notebandi (demonetisation) and then GST have broken Surat’s legs. The industry has been finished by the twin blows not only here, but in the entire country,” Gandhi said.

“The people said that they have been threatened. But truth cannot be suppressed, it will come out,” the Congress leader told reporters.

He said, “Surat is the place which can compete with China and has been doing it. Jobs will either come to India or China. But instead of helping them, the government has destroyed their strength.”

Hitting out at the new tax regime rolled out by the NDA government on July 1 this year, Gandhi said, “We had told (Prime Minister) Narendra Modiji and (Union Finance Minister) Arun Jaitleyji not to implement the GST in this way.”

He said, “This is not a political thing, this is not between the Congress and the BJP. This is about India’s competitiveness, we have to compete with China. You please do not kill our industries and businesses. But they said that we are going to implement it at 12 midnight,” he said.

“You press (media) people were asking us, why we are not allowing GST to be implemented, because we wanted to save Surat and the country,” he said.

“GST means one nation, one tax. But this GST, implemented by Modiji, which has five layers will not work. We had said that maximum cap on taxes should be 18 per cent but they did not listen to us,” the Congress leader said.

Gandhi is expected to have a formal interaction with traders in Adajan area of the city this evening.

He is also likely to participate in a candle light vigil, to mark the “black day”, near Vivekanand statue in Chowk Bazar area of Surat.

The prime minister had announced demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes as a measure to fight black money, corruption, fake currency and terror funding on this day last year.

The opposition is observing a “black day” today.

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