Old social media posts of BJP leaders advocating for inheritance tax go viral

BJP’s IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya, former Finance Minister and BJP MP Jayant Sinha and industrialist TV Mohandas Pai have supported inheritance tax earlier.
BJP IT incharge Amit Malviya
BJP IT incharge Amit Malviya
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Soon after Indian Overseas Congress Chairman Sam Pitroda’s comments on inheritance tax snowballed into a controversy, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was quick to attack the Indian National Congress, which distanced itself from Pitroda’s views. However, old social media posts of BJP leaders endorsing inheritance tax have now gone viral. 

Social media users and the Congress have hit back at the BJP by digging up old posts and media statements by BJP’s IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya, former Finance Minister and BJP MP Jayant Sinha and industrialist TV Mohandas Pai, in which they have advocated for the introduction of inheritance tax.

Inheritance tax, a levy imposed on the transfer of assets from deceased individuals to their beneficiaries, has been adopted by numerous countries worldwide with the aim of wealth redistribution and fostering economic parity. India also had an inheritance tax called the Estate Duty until it was scrapped in 1985 due to multiple reasons by then Finance Minister VP Singh under the Rajiv Gandhi government.

A speech made by former Finance Minister and BJP MP Jayant Sinha at the Forbes Philanthropy Awards in 2013. In this speech, Sinha said that he thinks Estate taxes in India are “very much required as it will encourage a lot more philanthropy and a number of other advantages which will enable to effectively create a more vibrant entrepreneurial capitalism in India.” 

Deleted social media posts of BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya are also circulating on social media. Malviya in this post made in 2014 said, "I am all for Jayant Sinha's idea to tax inheritance wealth." 

In an old interview with Mint, industrialist TV Mohandas Pai could be seen endorsing the inheritance tax. “I am starting to believe that the only way to get people to give is to impose an inheritance tax. That will only force them to give. America has an inheritance tax, and that is forcing people to give when they are alive,” industrialist TV Mohandas Pai said in the interview in 2015.

The controversy around inheritance tax began after Sam Pitroda, Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress, said more wealth redistribution policies could be discussed in India, citing the US inheritance tax model where a significant portion of an individual's wealth is taxed upon inheritance. "In America, there is an inheritance tax...It says you in your generation made wealth and you are leaving now, you must leave your wealth for the public," Sam Pitroda said.

The comment kicked up a political storm since Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been attacking the Congress through his speeches and claimed that if brought to power, the Congress would redistribute the people’s wealth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also criticised the Congress party over Pitroda's comments, accusing them of having "dangerous intentions" to seize assets and rights from the people. Modi, while addressing an election rally in Ambikapur, Chhattisgarh, warned that the Congress party plans to impose taxes on inherited assets, suggesting they would "snatch" assets from people's children.

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