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PM Modi hits Congress hard on inheritance tax, recalls how Rajiv Gandhi abolished it just before his children inherited Indira Gandhi’s estate

Rajiv Gandhi govt in its first budget in 1985 had repealed the Estate Duty Act of 1953, which imposed inheritance tax, just a month before former PM Indira Gandhi’s Will was executed transferring her estate to her three grandchildren

After Congress leader Sam Pitroda opened a pandora’s box by proposing inheritance tax, the matter has snowballed into a huge controversy, with PM Narendra Modi using it to target the Congress party. After saying that Congress policy is “Congress ki loot, zindagi ke saath bhi, zindagi ke baad bhi”, PM Modi today slammed the party for revoking the inheritance just before transferring Indira Gandhi’s estate to her grandchildren, so that they don’t have to pay the Estate Duty which was in force for over three decades.

Addressing a Vijay Sankalp Rally in Morena, Madhya Pradesh, PM Modi said, “The facts relating to Inheritance Tax are eye-opening…When former PM Indira Gandhi died, her children were going to get her property. But there was a rule earlier, that before the property goes to the children some part of it was taken by the government, Congress had made such a law earlier. There were discussions that when Rajiv Gandhi inherits the property, part of it will go to the government…To save the property so that it does not go to the government, the then PM Rajiv Gandhi scrapped the Inheritance law…”

PM Modi said that Rajiv Gandhi repealed the law to save his own money. He also asked the people, the journalists, and the left-liberal ecosystem to listen it carefully how the Congress party repealed an act just to save their family wealth.

He then added, when it came to themselves, they removed the law itself. And now, after that matter has resolved, now to come back to power, they want to bring back the same law with more stringent provisions. PM Modi said, ‘After earning massive properties during 4 generations without paying taxes, now these people want to grab the hard-earned income of common people like you, they want to look half of your properties by imposing taxes. That is why the country is saying, “Congress ki loot, zindagi ke saath bhi, zindagi ke baad bhi”, PM Modi added.

It is notable that yesterday OpIndia had reported how the Rajiv Gandhi govt in its first budget in 1985 had repealed the Estate Duty Act of 1953, which imposed inheritance tax, just a month before former PM Indira Gandhi’s Will was published. The Will was published on 2 May 1985, after which it was executed, and the Estate Duty Act, 1953 was repealed on 1 April 1985, just a month before.

As per Indira Gandhi’s Will, her estate worth about $175,000, over ₹21.50 lakh, was handed over to her three grandchildren, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi. The current value of this estate will be over ₹4.2 crore.

As per a report by United Press International (UPI) from 2 May 1985, in the will signed in 1981, Indira Gandhi had appointed her son Rajiv Gandhi and his wife Sonia Gandhi as executors of the will, but didn’t give anything to them. She also didn’t leave anything for her estranged daughter-in-law, Menaka Gandhi. The will was published after Rajiv Gandhi presented it at a court to certify it.

As per the Will, bulk of Indira Gandhi’s estate was a farm and a farmhouse under construction in Mehrauli, worth $98,000, which was to be divided equally among the three grandchildren. They were also given cash, stocks and bonds amounting to around $75,000, along with copyrights to books written by Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Indira Gandhi’s antique articles and personal jewellery worth around $2,500 was left to Priyanka Gandhi alone.

All three recipients were minors at that time, therefore Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi were given the responsibility of handling the property till they became adults.

While India had inheritance tax for over three decades, the Gandhi grandchildren didn’t have to pay any tax on this inheritance because the tax regime was abolished just a month ago before the Will was executed. The UPI report from 2 May 1985 said, “Under a finance bill that took effect April 1, all death duties in India have been abolished and no inheritance tax will be assessed on the Gandhi estate.”

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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