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'Tax terrorism' claims life of CCD owner in 'New India': Congress


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Congress alleged that "tax terrorism" under the Modi government has claimed the life of Cafe Coffee Day founder V G Siddhartha, whose body was found on the banks of the Netravathi river in Karnataka on Wednesday.
The death of 59-year-old Siddhartha, who police say appears to have committed suicide by jumping into the river near Mangaluru on Monday, left numb the business world as theories swirled over why he would have taken his life, ranging from harassment from tax authorities to possible undisclosed debt.
"The End for 'Ease of doing business'! 'Tax Terrorism' claims another life! The 'New India'!" Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on Twitter.
Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of betraying the people who voted for an independent and hassle-free economy, shortly after Siddhartha's body was found.
In a letter purportedly written by him, Siddhartha alleged harassment by the Income Tax Department, which has denied the charges.
He said the Income Tax Department attached "our shares on two separate occasions to block our Mindtree deal and then taking position of our Coffee Day shares, although revised returns have been filed by us".
The Congress has also given adjournment notices in Lok Sabha to discuss what led to the death of Siddhartha.
"There is an old notion of government has no business in business and Modi in his pre-2014 election campaign made a big deal about it. Today he has absolutely betrayed the people who voted for him to see a robust, independent, hassle free economy," Singhvi said on Twitter.
Singhvi also alleged that, "Since his re-election, Modi has tried majoritarianism, minoritarianism, Kashmir, Pakistan, Muslim women, Ram and even Man vs Wild to divert the attention of the people. From what exactly? Failing economy, rising unemployment, failing infra, farmers dying, failing law and order," he said in another tweet.
Condoling the demise of Siddhartha, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said his death reflected a "worrying trend".
"Ease of Doing Business" under BJP translates into "Ease of Ending Business". The #VGSiddhartha tragedy reflects the worst of a broader, deeply worrying trend," he tweeted.
The Congress's Karnataka unit on Wednesday sought an impartial and fair investigation into the death.
"Result of harassment by IT officials & decline of India's entrepreneurial position turning virulent by the day, with Tax Terror & collapse of economy. Companies which flourished under UPA have been shut down with many people being jobless (sic)," the state unit posted in its official handle.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah said Siddhartha's death was "both disturbing and mysterious".
"The reasons and the invisible hands that ended his life in this tragic way should be unearthed through impartial and fair investigation," he said.
Karnataka Congress spokesperson Brijesh Kalappa said, "He was killed mercilessly by tax terrorists who are now seeking to besmirch his memory by selectively leaking material against him.

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First Published: Jul 31 2019 | 9:15 PM IST

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