New Delhi: With assembly elections approaching and dates not yet announced in Gujarat, sops continue to pour in the poll-bound state.
The BJP government in the state has waived off the 18 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) that farmers who use the drip irrigation system have to pay, announcing on Tuesday that the tax will be paid by a state government-run Gujarat Green Revolution Company. This will cost the state exchequer Rs 78 crores annually, but will benefit lakhs of the state’s farmers.
The decision came just 48 hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state on October 22, his third this month. With Mr Modi making several rounds to his home state since the beginning of the year and having inaugurated a plethora of projects, the urgency within the saffron party’s ranks in Gujarat clearly reflects its nervousness.
Considering the fact that the party has been in power for four terms there and even rules the Centre with an absolute majority, it feeling jittery in the backyard of the Prime Minister, shows that the Patel community's agitation spearheaded by Hardik Patel and other backward community youth leaders like Jignesh Mewani and Alpesh Thakore holding rallies highlighting attacks on dalits, has sent it scurrying back to the drawing boards.
The main opposition party Congress was quick to point out that the decision to slash GST for farmers has come just days before the assembly elections in Gujarat....