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Congress leadership lacks legislative literacy: Jaitley

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on May 17, 2015

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today hit back at the Congress for its new-found aggression in Parliament and outside, saying that the party leadership lacks legislative literacy and needs to “directly read” the fine print instead of depending on others.

He disagreed with a suggestion that the BJP and the government at the Centre have lost in the battle of perception on the land bill issue, saying Congress has not gained by its “Left of (Karl) Marx” tactics.

The Finance Minister also rejected Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s allegations of a “generous bonanza” by giving tax cuts to the tune of ₹2.5 lakh crore to corporates in the next four years.

“Unfortunately, the current mood is based on lack of understanding of issues. If you hear some of their speeches which go contrary not only to their own legislation, but which are influenced by the current mood. And I use the phrase to say “which is to the Left of Marx”. And something which has become completely anachronism to today’s times,” he told PTI in an interview.

He was replying to a question on the aggression displayed by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul in recent times, attacking government on land bill and tax concessions to corporates.

Jaitley gave three examples to attack the Congress leaders on the party’s stand relating to GST Bill, Land Bill and the Real Estate Bill.

“I would say there is a certain lack of legislative literacy. You overlook this history and then you say, they have brought this bill and I want to oppose it.

“I think a section of the Congress leaders need to start reading the fine print, rather than accepting everything that their...I think their top leadership needs to directly read themselves or change those reading on their behalf,” he said.

Jaitley said that he was concerned that the top leadership of the Congress party does not read the fine print.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill was introduced by Congress during their government and cleared by the Standing Committee. Except for one major change, everything else was as per the Standing Committee.

“Now without having read the provisions, their leadership decided to take a different view. Their leadership spoke against the Real Estate bill. It was a bill which was framed by the UPA, introduced by the UPA and the Standing Committee cleared it when they were in government. We had got the bill in legacy,” Jaitley said.

Published on May 17, 2015
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