Leisure tourism can’t be connected to religious pilgrimage: BJP

Stating that the party has conveyed its resentment in strong words to the state government on the issue of imposing surcharge on helicopter services to religious places, BJP State Chief Spokesperson Sunil Sethi said that the party will never accept any such decision which is directly related to the sentiments of the people of the state and the same was opposed on the day first and the party is firm on its demand that it should be withdrawn.

Sunil Sethi, while addressing a press conference at party headquarters alongwith State General Secretary Munish Sharma and State Spokesperson Balbir Ram Rattan, said that the party neither endorse nor accept the recent decision of the state government to impose 12.5 per cent service tax on the helicopter services to Mata Vaisnho Devi, Amarnath ji, Shiv Khori etc. as it is the pilgrims who visit these places not for leisure or fun but to seek blessings according to their religious beliefs and hence religious pilgrimage cannot be linked to leisure tourism.

“The BJP also rejects the justification of Finance Minister that the religious pilgrimage is also part of tourism”, Sethi said and added that the stand of the party has been conveyed to our ministers, who too are taking up the issue within the government to get the order withdrawn in the interest of the people and the constituency of the BJP.

Sunil Sethi said that it should not be taken as an issue of ego and the government should not be adamant, rather it should adopt a people friendly approach on it without wasting any more time as the same has been witnessing the public wrath and the BJP stands with the public on all such decisions which are taken against the interests of the masses.

“While BJP opposes service tax on helicopter services to holy cave of Mata Vaisnho Devi and other religious places of Hindus, it will also oppose any such decision which hurts the sentiments of Muslims or other faiths”, Sethi said and expressed hope that the issue will not be given a communal orietation by vested interests and the government will withdraw the order at the earliest.

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