Congress to hold nationwide protests over weekend

The Congress will hold nationwide protests over the weekend against fresh income tax demand of over Rs 1,800 crore, which it has described as an “egregious attack” on democracy and imposition of “tax terrorism” amid the crucial Lok Sabha elections. The opposition party said it has received fresh notices from the income-tax department, asking it to pay Rs 1,823.08 crore,

Congress general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal has asked all Pradesh Congress Committees (PCCs) to hold massive public demonstrations at the state and district headquarters in their respective states on Saturday and the following day, involving senior leaders and party functionaries.

In his letter to all PCC presidents, Congress legislature party leaders, AICC general secretaries, in-charges and heads of frontal organisations, Venugopal said, “As you are well aware, the systematic process to thwart Indian democracy by the BJP proceeds at an alarming rate.”

“An illegal attempt to freeze the bank accounts of the principal national opposition party the Indian National Congress last month in February has gone on for over a month on the eve of the national general election. Yesterday, we received fresh notices from the IT department to pay Rs 1823.08 crores. Already the IT department has forcibly taken away Rs 135 crores from our bank account,” the Congress leader said.

“Now in a patently illegal and undemocratic action, the Income Tax Department has launched its next premeditated, diabolical campaign against the Congress,” he said.

Eight years of Income Tax returns of the Congress have been reopened on baseless, manufactured grounds to levy patently illegal Income Tax Demand orders totalling thousands of crores of rupees, he said, adding that this is nothing but a blatant attack on the very principals of democracy.

“In light of this egregious attack on democracy and the imposition of tax terrorism on our party amidst the crucial Lok Sabha Elections, All Pradesh Congress Committees (PCCs) are requested to hold massive public demonstrations at the State and District headquarters in their respective states tomorrow and the following day, involving senior leaders and party functionaries,” Venugopal said in his letter.

“Massive protest demonstrations shall be held in all constituencies, led by our party candidates. Protest demonstrations, including ‘Mashal Juloos’, shall be conducted in all districts by the District Congress Committees,” he said.

Tagging Venugopal’s letter, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “As is known the world over, the BJP is out to financially eliminate the Congress and has filed multiple frivolous cases against us right on the eve of elections.”

“Against this action, all PCCs will be protesting across the country tomorrow, in every district. This is not about our party alone, it is a systematic bludgeoning of the people’s voice. And the people will revolt,” Ramesh said.

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