Lok Satta

Thursday, 25 July 2013 06:05

Lok Satta Party organises a tea party at Aditi restaurant, highlights that established political parties neither stand for free speech nor rule of law

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Lok Satta Party today invited members and general public in the "luxury" of Aditi Restaurant for a Tea Party  to mull how a common small business person's grudge on AC restaurants coming under the ambit of luxury tax could lead to a police case and endless harassment.

"How is it an offence for an Indian citizen to legitimately and peacefully express anger at paying luxury tax when these taxes are being blatantly looted out of state coffers through numerous scams?", asked Lok Satta Party President for Maharashtra, Dr Kedar Diwan as he expressed dismay and outrage at the recent incident of Youth Congress members closing down Aditi Restaurant in Mumbai. Media reports indicate that Youth Congress workers intimidated the restaurant owner to shut shop or face dire consequences for printing the retaurant bills with a statement against luxury tax being levied on air conditioned restaurants.

Maharashtra General Secretary of Lok Satta Party, Mr. Rajesh Jogani added that the statement in the restaurant bills aimed at highlighting a citizen's frustration of not getting his tax money's worth. All the scams listed by the restaurateur, be it CWG, 2G or Coal scams, have been brought to light by the CAG, a government institution. Further these scams have resulted in senior UPA leaders facing legal proceedings including legal custody. UPA's failure to check instances of blatant misuse of the nation's funds and hesitation in bringing the perpetrators to account is certainly not in the realm of fiction. While one may argue about legalities, the intent of subverting free speech is evident.

Dr Diwan added that the incident effectively shows that none of the entrenched parties today possess the intent to preserve the rule of law either. Intimidation as a means to clamp down on the constitutional right to expression has attained chronic proportions in Mumbai. The gross failure to conduct reasoned debate on issues at a political level and the increasing failure of the legal machinery to bring aggressors to book at an enforcement level has been causing Mumbai's steady decline in its standing amongst leading cities. The city has been struggling to generate enough productive jobs and infrastructure over the last few decades.

Dr Diwan stated that such incidents cannot be looked at in isolation. Every established political party in Mumbai has resorted to such attacks on freedom of expression and rule of law. It is scaring job creators to stay away from Mumbai and is affecting local livelihoods. The citizens must assert themselves to demand politics that furthers rule of law. He urged citizens to come together to stem the rot affecting our beloved Mumbai.

Picture: Maharashtra General Secretary, Mr Rajesh Jogani readies to invite members for the "Luxury Tea Party" at Aditi Restaurant.

Maharashtra General Secretary, Mr Rajesh Jogani readies to invite members for the