Updated April 24th, 2024 at 20:37 IST

Rahul Gandhi's U-Turn on Wealth Survey Remark: 'Haven't Said Will Take Action As Yet'

Rahul Gandhi took a U-turn on his wealth survey remark by saying that he just wanted to ascertain the amount of injustice India was facing.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi | Image:PTI
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New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, on Wednesday, took a U-turn on his wealth survey remark by saying that he just wanted to ascertain the amount of injustice India was facing. 

Gandhi said, “I have not said we will take action as yet. I am just saying let's find out how much injustice has been done. Look at how PM Narendra Modi reacted the moment I said let's test how much injustice has been done. They are saying this is an attempt to break down the country. Through the X-ray (wealth survey), we will get to know the problem.”

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Gandhi said those who call themselves 'deshbhakts' are scared of the 'X-ray' of caste census but it is now his life mission and no force can stop it, as he hit back at the BJP amid the row on the issue of wealth redistribution.

Gandhi said he was targeted by the BJP and the prime minister for just talking about finding how much injustice had been done to 90 per cent of the population.

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Not interested in caste but 'justice'

Gandhi said, “I am not interested in caste but in 'nyay' (justice). I am saying that gross injustice is being done to 90 per cent of the population. I have not even said to date that we will take any action on that.”

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"I just said let us find out how much injustice is being done. There should be no objection to that. If you get injured and I say that get an X-ray done, no one should object to that," the Congress leader said.

Gandhi asserted that it is his life mission to ensure justice for the 90 per cent of the population against whom injustice has been done.

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"As soon as our government is formed, the first thing that would be done is a caste census," Gandhi said.

From the Rs 16 lakh crore transferred by Modi to select business people, the Congress is going to return a small amount to 90 per cent of the population, he said.

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"We have calculated...what we felt is justice and that help should be given, we put it down in the manifesto," he said of the party's guarantees mentioned in the manifesto.

'No force can stop caste census...'

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"Understand this that this is not politics for me and this is my life mission and I guarantee...no force can stop caste census. The more it is stopped, the more it will return with bigger force," Gandhi said.

The BJP has alleged that the Congress will take people's wealth and redistribute it if it comes to power. On Wednesday, PM Modi and his party cited Congress leader Sam Pitroda's remarks on inheritance tax to claim that the Congress wanted to legally rob people of their assets and lifelong savings they want to bequeath to their children.

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"Narendra Modi has given Rs 16 lakh crore to 25 people from these firms. If you waive farmers' loans 25 times, that amount of money has been given by the prime minister to 25 people," Gandhi alleged.

"But look at the national media and Narendra Modi as soon as I used the word X-ray and said let us test how much injustice is there, they stood up and started saying that attempts were being made to divide the country, break it.

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'Deshbhakts' scared of X-Ray, says Gandhi

An X-ray will only tell about participation and all patriots would like this, he said, "What does a deshbhakt want? A deshbhakt wants justice in the country. A deshbhakt wants India to move forward and become a superpower. So if you want to become a superpower and move ahead of China, one has to use the strength of 90 per cent of the population. Those who call themselves 'deshbhakt' are scared of X-Ray," he said.

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Besides, Chairman of Indian Overseas Congress Sam Pitroda, on Tuesday, advocated an inheritance tax law in the country as he supported Gandhi's wealth redistribution remark. 

Pitroda had remarked, “In America, there is an inheritance tax. If one has 100 million USD worth of wealth and when he dies he can only transfer probably 45 per cent to his children, 55 per cent is grabbed by the government. That's an interesting law. It says you in your generation, made wealth and you are leaving now, you must leave your wealth for the public, not all of it, half of it, which to me sounds fair.”

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BJP's sharp attack on Cong

The BJP launched an all-out attack on the Congress over Sam Pitroda's 'inheritance tax' remarks, alleging he has exposed the party's "nefarious design" of taking away common people's wealth and property.

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Latching on to his remarks, BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi claimed, "Sam Pitroda has elaborated the nefarious design of the Congress. We are a saving-based economy. In India, one generation (of a family) earns by doing hard work. The second generation builds on that and then the third generation gets some comfort." 

Cong distances itself from Pitroda's remarks

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The Congress distanced itself from Pitroda's remarks, alleging that sensationalising them are attempt at diverting attention from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "malicious" poll campaign.

Pitroda clarifies 

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With his remarks triggering a row, Pitroda said on X, "It is unfortunate that what I said as an individual on inheritance tax in the US is twisted by Godi media to divert attention from what lies the PM is spreading about the Congress manifesto. PM's comments on Mangal Sutra and gold snatching is simply unreal." "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 kind of issues people will have to discuss and debate. This has nothing to do with the policy of any party including Congress," he said.

"Who said 55 per cent will be taken away? Who said something like this should be done in India? Why is BJP and media in panic," Pitroda asked.

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(with PTI inputs)

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Published April 24th, 2024 at 20:37 IST