BJP's Ganesh Karnik criticizes Sam Pitroda's 'inheritance tax' remarks, says 'He is illiterate' (2024)

MANGALURU : Karnataka BJP leader Ganesh Karnik has strongly criticized Sam Pitroda, the chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress, for advocating a US-like ‘inheritance tax’ in the country, saying that “he is illiterate.”

“Sam Pitroda, the western-bred intellectually corrupt person, and taking lessons from him is one of the problems of Congress today,” said Ganesh Karnik, senior BJP leader and election in-charge of Dakshin Kannada, who was also a former member of the Legislative Council.

He continued, “First of all, I condemn his statement on inheritance tax in Western culture. It will not be feasible, it is not practical, and it has to be condemned. India has a different legacy, India has a different legal inheritance that is socially and culturally accepted, except by people like Sam Pitroda. They create such damage in society. They are very divisive and they are very selfish. So I condemn this.”

The BJP leader went on to say that Pitroda is “illiterate” when it comes to India’s minimum wage act.

“Sam Pitroda is illiterate as far as the minimum wage act of this country is concerned. This determines the way people who have registered under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) are paid. He must know at least this fact. He has been the financial advisor during the Congress regime. If he says that the wages act is a laughing issue I don’t think he knows what he is talking about,” he said.

“Secondly, it would be better for Congress and its manifesto if they stop taking such elite advice from people like Sam Pitroda. Lastly, this is not practical at all and impossible but it speaks of a hidden agenda in the minds of Congress and its supporters,” he added.

“I have heard many things about Congress lineage. The genetic Congress lineage of the leaders of the Congress dynasty, Nehru, Indira Gandhi, and such people. I prefer not to comment on that after listening to people like Sam Pitroda and their manifesto, which focuses on a particular community, totally overlooking the interests of the majority community, I think we have to question the lineage of the entire so-called Gandhi family. Gandhi himself is crying in his grave. I think I am the true Gandhi and the followers of the so-called Gandhi dynasty in Congress today are not following the true Gandhi dynasty,” he further said.

Earlier, expanding on the need for a policy towards wealth redistribution in the country, amid the massive political uproar over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s alleged promise of a wealth survey in the country, if elected, Pitroda called for a dialogue around the induction of an ‘inheritance tax’ on the lines of the one that prevails in the US stirring a controversy.

However, the Congress party has distanced itself from the remarks and said that inheritance tax laws do not reflect the stand of the party. But, the BJP came guns blazing at the Congress party over Pitroda’s remarks.

“As is well known, America levies an inheritance tax on its citizens. As per the law, a person holding 100 million USD in net worth can leave only 45 per cent of it behind for his children in the event of his death. The government of the state where he resided will lay claim and collect the remaining 55 per cent of his wealth. This, to me, is an interesting law as it says: you amassed wealth in your lifetime and before your death, you must leave one-half of it for the people. This sounds fair to me,” Pitroda said earlier.

“In India, you don’t have that. If somebody is worth 10 billion and he dies, his children get 10 billion and the public gets nothing…So these are the kinds of issues people will have to debate and discuss. When we talk about redistributing wealth, we are talking about new policies and new programs that are in the interest of the people and not in the interest of the super-rich only,” he added.

Pitroda also said that the subject of wealth distribution is strictly a ‘policy issue’ and he feels concerned about Prime Minister Modi after his remarks on the Congress manifesto.

“This is a policy issue. Congress party would frame a policy through which the wealth distribution would be better. We don’t have a minimum wage (in India). If we come up with a minimum wage in the country saying you must pay so much money to the poor, that’s the distribution of wealth. Today, rich people don’t pay their peons, servants, and home help enough but they spend that money on vacation in Dubai and London…When you talk about the distribution of wealth, it is not that you sit on a chair and say I have this much money and I’ll be distributing it to everybody,” Pitroda said.

Amid pushback, Pitroda sought to downplay his remark saying he only cited inheritance tax in the the US as an ‘example’.

“Who said 55 per cent will be taken away? Who said something like this should be done in India? Why are the BJP and the media in panic? I mentioned US inheritance tax in the US only as an example in my normal conversation on TV. Can I not mention facts? I said these are the kinds of issues people will have to discuss and debate. This has nothing to do with the policy of any party including Congress,” Pitroda posted on X. (ANI)

BJP's Ganesh Karnik criticizes Sam Pitroda's 'inheritance tax' remarks, says 'He is illiterate' (2024)
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