Ahmedabad: The Congress party is upping the ante in poll-bound Gujarat over the effects of demonetisation and GST implementation.
On the eve of the one year anniversary of demonetisation, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will deliver a lecture on the state of the Indian economy in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Congress vice President Rahul Gandhi will meet traders of Surat over the same issue on Wednesday.
This comes after former Finance Minister P Chidambaram was in Gujarat to discuss issues of demonetisation and GST last week.
The Congress believes it can tap into the anger over GST implementation and lingering effects of demonetisation still linger on in the upcoming Assembly election.
Singh has two engagements on Tuesday. After arriving in Ahmedabad, he will first deliver a lecture on the prevailing economic situation in India after which he is also scheduled to address the media at the GPCC headquarters in the city.
Views of the former prime minister on the economy carry a lot of weight and substance as he is himself an accomplished economist and the architect of India’s economic liberalisation programme. People from various walks of life have been invited by the GPCC for Singh’s talk on the Indian economy, where he is likely to take on the Union government over the state of the Indian economy and how it has been pegged back because of demonetisation and implementation of GST. The former Prime Minister’s press conference in the afternoon is also likely to revolve around the issues of demonetisation and GST.
During the third phase of his Navsarjan Yatra in South Gujarat, Gandhi had announced that he will return back to Surat on November 8 and specifically meet traders over the issue of demonetisation and GST. The Congress has sent out invitations to associations involved in textile weaving and processing along with those who are involved in retail and wholesale business of garments in Surat. Besides, several businessmen involved in diamond cutting and polishing too have been called for the meeting.
Gandhi has attacked the government over demonetisation and what he terms as hasty implementation for GST all through the three phases of his Navsarjan Yatra. The yatra has covered Saurashtra, Central and South Gujarat so far. While he has spoken of farmers’ issues and unemployment in rural areas, his focus has been on highlighting problems being faced by traders and small businessmen in semi urban and urban areas of the state. In fact, he coined the new name for GST, renaming it – Gabbar Singh Tax.
Meanwhile, the GPCC has announced that Congress workers will wear black bands and stage protests all across the state on Wednesday to mark one year of demonetisation. “Congress will observe November 8 as Black Day and our party workers will organise protests in all cities and districts of the state on November 8,” spokesperson Manish Doshi said. Similar protests are being organised across the country on November 8.