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Property tax issue could be image booster for Rajini

Property tax issue could be image booster for Rajini

Actor turned politician Rajinikanth on Thursday said an appeal could have been made to the Greater Chennai Corporation in respect of the property tax remission issue rather than going to the court.

In a tweet Rajinikanth said in respect of the Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam property tax matter, "we should have appealed to the Greater Chennai Corporation. Could have avoided the error."

"#Experience is a lesson," Rajinikanth said.

A perception strategist told IANS the property tax episode is actually an image booster for Rajinikanth.

In terms of perception of Rajinikanth this may be a minor setback. But perception is short term.

On Wednesday Rajinikanth faced an embarrassment with the Madras High Court warning of imposing costs for wasting its time.

Rajinikanth had filed a case in the court against the Greater Chennai Corporation's Rs 6.5 lakh property tax demand notice issued to Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam owned by him.

The actor had petitioned the court saying that the marriage hall was closed from March onwards owing to the Covid-19 lockdown and sought a tax remission.

He had said the law provides that a remission in property tax can be availed if the property was not in use for over 30 days.

According to the actor, there was no reply from the Greater Chennai Corporation to his request.

The Greater Chennai Corporation had sent the tax demand notice in September.

However, the court frowning upon the petition had said Rajinikanth should have sent a reminder to the Greater Chennai Corporation rather than rushing to the court.

The actor's counsel then sought the permission of the court to withdraw the case.

Rajinikanth had earlier said the governance system is not right and has to be changed. The popular perception is that can't he pay Rs.6.5 lakh as property tax.

"In terms of perception of Rajinikanth this is a minor setback. It should be noted that perception is short term and image is long term. This episode will actually be an image booster for him," a perception strategist told IANS preferring anonymity.

"Look at it this way. Had he wanted to avoid tax he could have resorted to other ways like most other persons. But he followed the due process. He had requested the Greater Chennai Corporation and didn't get a reply. The last date for paying tax was approaching so he had approached the court," the perception strategist said.

He added that the one larger good that has happened is that a lot many people now know about the provision for getting tax remission and the Greater Chennai Corporation should now have a transparent process for granting the benefit to the people.

Finally, the actor has the humility to accept in public that he should have approached the Greater Chennai Corporation with an appeal, which no other person would have done, the strategist said.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at v.jagannathan@ians.in)

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