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Business News/ Politics / News/  Did BJP once favour inheritance tax idea? Congress shares deleted tweet

Did BJP once favour inheritance tax idea? Congress shares deleted tweet

A screenshot shared by Congress leaders showed that BJP's Amit Malviya posted a message on X in 2014 favouring “[former minister] Jayant Sinha's idea to tax inheritance wealth”. Here's what Amit Malviya and Jayant Sinha had said back in 2014.

Congress leaders alleged that BJP leader Amit Malviya had once favoured the idea of inheritance tax.Premium
Congress leaders alleged that BJP leader Amit Malviya had once favoured the idea of inheritance tax.

Did BJP leader Amit Malviya and MP Jayant Sinha once favour the idea of inheritance tax, which is now a matter of blame game between the Congress and the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2024? 

Congress leaders took to social media on Wednesday to share a screenshot of a "deleted" tweet posted by Malviya in 2014. The now-deleted tweet read: "I am all for Jayant Sinha's idea to tax inheritance wealth."

Inheritance tax, also known as estate tax, is a tax levied on the total value of money and property of a deceased person before it is distributed to their legal heirs.

The screenshot revealed that Malviya had posted the message on X in 2014 — when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had ousted the Congress and Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister for the first time.

His tweet now resurfaced amid controversy over Indian Overseas Congress chairman Sam Pitroda's comments on inheritance tax or "estate tax".

Congress leader Pawan Khera posted screenshots of Malviya's post and said, "Meanwhile Amit Malviya regretting why he didn’t delete his past tweets...".

In a series of tweets, Malviya had supposedly contended back in 2014 that the idea of inheritance tax was "just an idea, which is open for debate". In another screenshot, he posted, “It's not a decision, just an idea."

Meanwhile, Telangana Congress spokesperson Asma also shared the screenshot, saying, “BJP culprit unsuccessfully tried to erase the evidence. (sic)"

BJP vs Congress on inheritance tax

Sam Pitroda stirred up a row by calling inheritance tax law in the US "an interesting law". He later clarified his comments.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh alleged on Wednesday that it was the "Modi Sarkar" which wanted to introduce Inheritance Tax in 2014. "Jayant Sinha, then Minister of State for Finance, publicly stated that he wanted to introduce Inheritance Tax in 2014," Ramesh stated in one of the four "facts" he shared on X on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, BJP's Amit Malviya said it was former Finance Minister and Congress leader Chidambaram who had "proposed the horrendous idea of imposing Inheritance Tax" in 2012.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also hit out at the Congress, accusing the party of "looting" the citizens even after their death. "The Congress will kill you with more taxes until you are alive and when you die, it will burden you with the inheritance tax. Those people who considered the entire Congress party as their ancestral property and handed it over to their children, now do not want Indians to pass on their property to their children," PM Modi said on Wednesday at an election rally.

Was Jayant Sinha in favour of inheritance tax?

An article published in FirstPost in 2014 called Jayant Sinha, who was the former minister of state for finance in the BJP government, "a fervent believer in inter-generational equity". This reportedly meant that Sinha favoured "a form of inheritance tax for wealth passed by the rich after their death to their progeny."

According to the report, Sinha gave four reasons why the country needs estate taxes while speaking at the Forbes India Philanthropy Awards 2013. Amid the latest controversy, a video of Jayant Sinha went viral on Wednesday. In the video, he could be heard speaking at the forum about the "estate tax" in India.

Meanwhile, P Chidambaram, the former minister in the Congress-led central government, had called for a debate on the need for an inheritance tax in India. According to an Economic Times report, he wondered "if the country had paid enough attention to accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few".

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Published: 24 Apr 2024, 08:00 PM IST
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