JAMMU, Sep 07: Congress has strongly condemned the State Govt. decision of imposing service tax on air travel facility for the Vaishno Devi pilgrimage and demanded its immediate roll back.
While questioning the justification for such an ill-advised move which hurts the religious sentiments of crores of people of this Country, where the Govt. offers subsidy and other facilities to respect the religious sentiments of its citizens, the Congress has said that it is most unfortunate that this decision has been taken by a Govt. in which BJP is an equal partner in the State and also ruling at the Centre.
In a meeting of senior congress leaders presided over by Senior Vice President PCC Shri Sham Lal Sharma a strong exception was taken over the most ‘unjustified’, ‘ arbitrary’ and ‘provocative’ action of the State Govt. to impose 12.50% service tax on the air travel facility to Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims. The Congress questioned the BJP for its compulsion to stay in the coalition, if it has not been consulted on such a sensitive issue, touching the religious sentiments of crores of people of this Country.
Referring to the statements of the BJP leaders denying their role or consultation in the matter, the Congress questioned BJP if it has no say even in such sensitive and important issues, what for they are sticking to the chairs? It reflects the kind of mutual understanding between coalition partners, and the role of BJP in the Govt.
Asking BJP to immediately come out of the coalition, if it has little respect for the religious sentiments and other rights of the people, who gave them mandate, otherwise the BJP leaders especially the Cabinet Ministers shall face the music of the anger of the people for bringing disrespect to their religious sentiments and surrendering their rights for enjoying power. The Govt. has funds to purchase luxurious vehicles for the legislators but has to impose tax on religious affairs to arrange funds, they lamented.