Didi slams Modi for GST on puffed rice
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday attacked the Narendra Modi government for its decision to levy Goods and Services Tax (GST) on muri (puffed rice), a popular snack for the common people of Bengal.
Midway through her speech at the Martyrs’ Day rally, Mamata suddenly brought up the Centre’s decision to levy 5 per cent GST on packaged food items like muri, chira (flattened rice) and doi (curd).
A packet of a kilo of muri now costs Rs 40 in the open market. After 5 per cent GST kicks in, people will pay Rs 2 extra.
“What will we have? What will people have? If I want to have a plate of muri, I have to pay GST…,” Mamata said before raising a slogan on puffed rice to sharpen her attack on the BJP.She asked for some muri from the crowd. Someone from the crowd from a village in East Burdwan held up a sack of muri.
Mamata asked him to hand over the sack to cops and minister Firhad Hakim in turn handed it over to Mamata who then took a few fistfuls of muri on a plate to show the crowd.“I know people from villages carry muri with them. It is their food. Now if you want muri, you have to pay GST,” she said.
She told the crowd to serve muri to CBI or ED sleuths if they came on their doorstep.“Will BJP supporters not have muri? What will BJP friends have?” she asked.Sources in Trinamul said Mamata took the example of muri to attack the BJP, as it is a mainstay in at least 10 Bengal districts like Birbhum, Bankura and East Burdwan.People of those areas often have muri even for lunch or dinner. They make curries or fritters to accompany muri which earlier was made at home but now is store-bought.
A senior official in the agriculture department said around 400 people in the past few years had set up muri-making units.Muri is also Mamata’s favourite, especially when she travels to the districts. Mamata likes to have “chop-muri” with officials or party colleagues.