Ahmedabad: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi who began his three-day Navsarjan Yatra in north Gujarat said on Saturday that the Central government needs to bring about structural change in the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
“It is a good thing that due to pressure from Congress and citizens of India, BJP government has brought lot of items from the 28% to 18% tax bracket,” Rahul said at the beginning at Chiloda in Gandhinagar. “However, we are not happy and we shall not stop. India does not need five different taxes but one tax. GST needs structural change.”
Before reaching Chiloda, Rahul visited Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar. Interestingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had attended silver jubilee festivities at the temple on November 2. Rahul is planning to cover 19 Assembly constituencies in six districts over three days. He is slated to visit as many as six different temples, including the famous Ambaji temple.
North Gujarat has 32 Assembly seats and this is the fourth region the Congress leader visited in recent days. He had earlier campaigned on similar three-day tours in Saurashtra, central Gujarat and south Gujarat regions. Like his earlier trips, Rahul is slated to hold meetings with women, villagers and different communities. He also had an unscheduled stop at Chandrala village to savour on local snacks at a road-side tea stall.
Starting from Chiloda, Rahul will cover constituencies spread over Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Banaskantha, Patan and Mehsana districts, where Patidars and the OBCs wield great influence. This also happens to be home region of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home of Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel.
Of the 19 Assembly constituencies, Congress held 10 and BJP nine in the outgoing Assembly. In 2012, Congress had bagged 18 of the 32 Assembly seats in north Gujarat. With Alpesh Thakor and Hardik Patel from this region, Congress is hoping for better performance. In recent pre-poll surveys by local media houses, a swing in favour of Congress has been suggested.
In Chiloda, Rahul said that he would make good of his promise of giving more seats to women. “We have promised you that we would give more seats to women in Assembly polls and when time comes, we will make good of our promise,” he said. “In the future, we would also give more representations to women in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha too.”