'You will face criminal defamation': Himanta Biswa Sarma after Manish Sisodia's corruption accusation; here's all you need to know

The charges were based on an investigative report published on the news website The Wire two days ago

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, June 04, 2022, 05:43 PM IST
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'You will face criminal defamation': Himanta Biswa Sarma after Manish Sisodia's corruption accusation |

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma gave contracts to companies of his wife and son's business partners to supply PPE kits above market rates as India battled the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged on Saturday citing media reports.

At a press conference, he claimed that while the Assam government procured PPE kits for Rs 600 a piece from other companies, Sarma gave urgent supply orders to the firms of his wife and son's business partners for Rs 990 a piece "taking advantage of the COVID-19 emergency".

The firm belonging to Sarma's wife does not even deal in medical equipment, he alleged.

"While the contract given to the firm of Sarma's wife was cancelled as the company could not supply PPE kits, another supply order was given to the firm belonging to the business partners of his son at a rate of Rs 1,680 per kit," Sisodia said citing the media report.

The charges were based on an investigative report published on the news website The Wire two days ago. And were strongly refuted by Sarma's wife Riniki Bhuyan Sharma as "unfounded". "I did not take a single penny out of this supply. I have always been transparent about my belief in giving back to society, irrespective of my husband's political standing," she said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Assam Chief Minister on Saturday said he will file a criminal defamation complaint against Sisodia.

Taking to Twitter, Sarma said his wife didn’t take a single penny and added that she donated around 1500 PPE kits to help save lives.

"At a time when the entire country was facing the worst pandemic in over 100 years , Assam hardly had any PPE Kits. My wife took the courage of coming forward and donating around 1500 free of cost to the govt to save lives. She didn’t take a single penny," he wrote.

He went on to accuse Sisodia of refusing to take multiple calls to help Assamese people stuck in Delhi.

"While you Mr Manish Sisodia at that point of time showed a completely different side. You refused my multiple calls to help Assamese people stuck in Delhi. I can never forget one instance when I had to wait 7 days just to get a Assamese covid victim’s body from Delhi’s mortuary," Sarma said.

"Stop sermonising and I will see you soon in Guwahati as you will face criminal defamation," he added.

Besdies, the Assam government has also refuted allegations that Chief Minister's family was involved in alleged malpractices in the supply of PPE kits during the pandemic.

Government spokesman Pijush Hazarika said there was no scam in the supply of PPE kits and no member of the chief minister's family were involved in the supply of any material related to the COVID pandemic.

The allegations are ''false, imaginary, malicious and can be attributed as the handiwork of a certain section with vested interests,'' Hazarika, who is also the state's minister for water resources and information and public relations told reporters.

''Why are the two organisations (who made the claims) not going to the Court if they have evidence instead of making false and baseless allegations ?'' he added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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