Terming the proposal to abolish income tax “bizarre”, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday took a dig at Narendra Modi, saying that the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate’s knowledge of “economics, history and geography were weak”.
“So far, Modi has shown that his knowledge of geography and history is weak. By embracing this completely lunatic idea of abolishing income tax and listening to Baba Ramdev on this, he is showing that his economics is also very weak,” he told reporters.
At an event organised recently by yoga guru Ramdev here, Modi had said, “The present taxation system is a burden on the common man. There is a need to reform it and and introduce a new system.”
Ramdev has demanded abolition of all kinds of taxes and called for a single tax in the form of ‘Banking Transaction Tax’ if Modi were to succeed in becoming prime minister.
Meanwhile, Ramesh also questioned Modi’s commitment to clean governance in the light of BS Yeddyurappa being welcomed back into the BJP. Yeddyurappa, the former Karnataka chief minister, had been indicted by the Lokayukta in a mining scam case.
“Modi is going to take lessons on economics from Baba Ramdev and lessons on integrity and clean governance from Yeddyurappa. What sort of double standards is this?” he asked.
The return of Yeddyurappa to BJP shows the complete hypocrisy of the party vis-a-vis its campaign against corruption, Ramesh alleged.
Asked about his assessment for the 2014 general elections, Ramesh noted that it was almost certain that a coalition government would be formed at the Centre.
“All I can say is that, in 2014, you will see a coalition government… (it is) inevitable,” Ramesh averred.