Gaurav Gogoi calls for Assam CM Sarma’s resignation over subsidy row

Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi has sought investigation into government grants and land acquisition by the firm Himanta Biswa Sarma’s wife is associated with

September 16, 2023 10:50 am | Updated 12:38 pm IST - GUWAHATI

Congress sitting MP and the son of former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Gaurav Gogoi addresses an election rally in Bokakhat, Golaghat district of Assam.

Congress sitting MP and the son of former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Gaurav Gogoi addresses an election rally in Bokakhat, Golaghat district of Assam. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

GUWAHATI

Congress Member of Parliament Gaurav Gogoi on Friday demanded the resignation of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma following a controversy over the approval of ₹10 crore subsidy under the Prime Minister’s Kisan Sampada Yojana for a firm the latter’s wife owns.

Pride East Entertainment Private Limited, the firm owned by Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, is one of the firms in Assam approved for the subsidy. The grant is for an agriculture-related project in central Assam’s Nagaon district.

Dr. Sarma and his wife denied receiving the subsidy and threatened to file a defamation suit against Mr. Gogoi.

“It hardly matters how much money has been credited to the account of the Chief Minister’s family. Government subsidies should be given to local entrepreneurs and farmers genuinely in need of support,” the Congress MP said.

He demanded a comprehensive investigation into the rapid acquisition of a substantial agricultural land plot by a media house owned by Chief Minister’s family and its subsequent conversion into industrial property within a very short period of time.

Mr. Gogoi expressed concerns over the speed and nature of these transactions, emphasising the need for a thorough probe to maintain transparency and uphold ethical standards.

The Chief Minister shed his defensive stance and went on the attack on Friday, saying almost all media house in Assam have other businesses and there was no harm in the Pride East group doing the same.

“I have said I will quit as the CM and retire from public life if it is proved my wife or Pride East received any cheque from the Centre. One can find out through Right to Information,” he said, accusing Congress of denying an employment opportunity to many.

“People can attack me, but why should they drag in my wife who is an entrepreneur in her own right?” he asked.

Meanwhile, BJP legislator Rupjyoti Kurmi accused Raijor Dal MLA Akhil Gogoi of blackmailing former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to get 22 bighas of land at Kaziranga for an orchid park.

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