Thousands court arrest in Mumbai, Maharashtra against new tax

Mumbai, May 16 (IANS) Thousands of traders in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, along with prominent state politicians, courted arrest Thursday demanding scrapping of the new Local Body Tax (LBT), officials said.

The ‘jail bharo’ agitation was taken up simultaneously in Mumbai and eight other districts of the state with traders courting arrest and shouting anti-LBT slogans.

The agitation was led by Federations of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM), the umbrella organisation of all trade panels in the state.

Besides the FAM members and traders, leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party, Shiv Sena and Samajwadi Party also courted arrest and demanded scrapping of LBT which they termed as “draconian”.

Gopinath Munde, Vinod Tawade and Abu Azmi were among the prominent leaders who courted arrest in south Mumbai along with FAM president Mohan Gurnani.

Meanwhile, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) Thursday appealed to the trading community to call off their agitation which has caused immense hardships to the common man.

The corporation said that LBT has still not been implemented in Mumbai and will be done only after following the due legal process and other formalities.

“The MCGM has invited the representatives of traders for deliberations and two rounds of deliberations have already taken place. A committee has been constituted by the government under the chairmanship of chief secretary, which has also held deliberations,” it said in a statement.

“Therefore, it is difficult to comprehend the reasons for which the trading community is indulging in such intense agitations,” it said, urging the traders to call off their stir.

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