Samajwadi Party, joining other parties, also released their manifesto for 2019 general elections. The manifesto was released in Lucknow by Samajwadi Party chief and former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Continuing with the party’s’ long-standing caste-based political methodology, Samajwadi Party in its vision document has proposed to levy a 2% extra tax on ‘upper caste elites’ whose total household wealth is more than 2.5 crores, after coming to power. Samajwadi Party in their manifesto called for ‘greater change through social justice’.
The first page of the ‘vision document’ reads ‘Enough is Enough’, under which the party has said the privileged dismiss them as casteist. “The elite and the rich dismiss us as power hungry. These are all lies designed to maintain and perpetuate oppressive power structures to benefit the few,” the document reads.
“We propose financing this increase in social transfers by imposing an additional 2% tax on total wealth of households owning more than Rs 2.5 Crores (about 0.1% of the Indian households). This works out to 1.1% of the GDP. We believe it is also time to add a top income tax bracket for the ultra-rich who hide their income using complex structures. Doing so would unlock up to an additional 1% of the GDP,” the party said in its manifesto.
During the release of the manifesto, Akhilesh Yadav attacked the BJP and said that they are making rich people richer and poor people poorer through their policies like GST. He also said that BJP has weakened the fight for social justice.
This caste based taxation regime clearly indicates towards the casteist attitude, which SP has always been linked with. Samajwadi Party’s past tenures in Uttar Pradesh saw a large number of caste-based appointments, mainly people belonging to specific caste were appointed in various government jobs. Now, this taxation proposal only reiterates the party position.
The manifesto, since its release, has been facing a lot of criticism for its casteist overtones. Padma Bhushan recipient and author, Dr. David Frawley, citing the poor state of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar after years of rule by socialist parties said, “A replay of the old crony socialism of the late twentieth century that kept UP and Bihar the most backward states in India. Akhilesh Yadav and company are among the richest of the rich and gained more from their time in power than the poor ever done.”
Many also believe what Akhilesh Yadav’s 2% tax for ‘upper caste elites’ is a ‘slippery slope’ and may in the future lead to further financial discrimination in the society based on caste, religion and even geography.
Anshul Saxena taking a dig at Samajwadi Party’s’ ‘socialism’ said, “Now Tax has Religion & Caste. Akhilesh Yadav proposes 2% tax on ‘Upper Caste Elites’ in SP Manifesto to tackle ‘Economic Disparity’. What kind of Socialism is this? Caste doesn’t decide someone’s economic status. Why not 2% tax on rich Politicians?”
The party also promised that it will raise an Ahir Armored Regiment and a Gujarat Infantry Regiment.