Sanjay Nirupam, president of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee, took on actor Amitabh Bachchan for promoting the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on Tuesday, saying "anti-GST protests will tarnish the actor's image". The government has roped in Bachchan to promote GST, ahead of the scheduled 1 July rollout of the sweeping tax reforms.
"Standing by the government doesn't suit him. Why be a part of BJP'S stupid acts?" Nirupam told CNN-News18. While asking Bachchan to refrain from such acts, he said the government roped him in to promote GST. The state Congress also warned of protests against GST and the actor since the traders are unhappy with the new tax system.
According to Times Now, the Central Board of Excise and Customs made the Bollywood megastar brand ambassador for GST. A 40-second video featuring Bachchan has already been shot and is being circulated.
He added, "GST hurts traders, why is Bachchan promoting it?"
— News18 (@CNNnews18) June 21, 2017
The actor, however, said that he only did a few advertisements of GST without charging any money for it.
"The GST was a brilliant idea thought of by the Congress. It is another story that the BJP opposed it all the while it was in the opposition. But after coming to power, it started diluting the basic concepts of the GST, and that was not acceptable to us," Nirupam told reporters here.
While the Congress sought GST as a single tax for the entire nation, the BJP introduced four tax slabs and three different sub-types of GST, he said.
"It has become very complicated now. Traders and service providers are required to fill three long forms every month. Thus, the basic purpose of the GST is defeated. This is unlike the way the GST has been implemented in other countries," he said.
"Some people are creating a confusion that we are opposing the same GST that we passed. But this is not true. We have always been for the GST but not in this format.
"We tried for three years to get our reservations noticed by the government but they (the BJP) then started maligning us so we had to pass it," Nirupam said.
"Being your fan, I suggest that you withdraw yourself from the GST campaign," the Congress leader told Bachchan.
This is not the first time that the veteran actor has taken part in a government campaign. Before GST, Bachchan was the face of polio campaign, Swachh Bharat campaign, the brand ambassador for Uttar Pradesh government and Gujarat tourism. Bachchan had also lent his support to International Yoga Day.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Jun 21, 2017 18:15 PM