Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday engaged in a war of words with Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi, who claimed that a company linked to Sharma's wife got a Rs 10 crore subsidy. Sarma rejected the claims and said that he would meet Gogoi in the court.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Gaurav Gogoi said that the Centre launched the Kisan Sampada scheme to double the income of farmers in India. "But in Assam, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma used his influence to help his wife's firm get Rs 10 crore as part of credit linked subsidy. Are Central government schemes meant to enrich BJP?" he asked on X.
Sarma rejected the claim, saying: "Neither my wife nor the company she is associated with has ever received any financial subsidies from the Government of India".
However, Gogoi, in another tweet, said the Ministry of Food Processing website clearly showed the name of the person and the company - Pride East Entertainments Pvt Ltd - Sarma's wife - Riniki Bhuyan Sarma - was associated with. "The Rs 10 crore government grant has also been approved. Please report to the Union Minister if their website has been hacked," Gogoi said.
Earlier today, Gogoi shared a reply by Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and said that the documents had "exposed the truth and both Ministers need to clarify".
The Assam chief minister fired back and said the reply itself clarified that the government had not released any funds to the mentioned company. "I want to emphasize once again that neither my wife nor the company she is associated with has received or claimed any amount from the Government of India," he said, adding that if anyone could provide evidence to the contrary, he would retire from public life.
Gogoi asked Sarma whether he was complaining to Piyush Goyal that the funds had not been released. "Is Hon'ble Chief Minister complaining to Union Minister Piyush Goyal? He is saying that Piyush Goyal has only approved the grant to the wife of Himanta Biswa Sarma but has not released the funds."
The Assam CM then asked Gogoi not to change the goalpost. He said all family members of the BJP politicians have the right to run their own companies and seek government subsidies if they are entitled to them. "This is true for everyone. However, I would like to clarify that in this particular case, my wife has not even claimed the subsidy," he said.
The Congress MP then asked the chief minister to clarify this matter in the Assam assembly instead of "typing on Twitter". "Congress MLAs in the morning have moved an adjournment motion to discuss the entire Pride Media- KMSY but you’re answer is lacking," Gogoi said.
By now, Sarma seemed irritated and asked Gogoi to not lecture him on what to do. "Whether I decide to go to the assembly or a court of law against you, I will make that decision myself," he said.
The Congress leader asked Sarma to "not get agitated" and said he would be happy if the CM went to court "at least then all the documents will be made public".
The chief minister said that he was agitated and there had been numerous reasons for his anger against Gogoi's family since 2010. "I am confident that we will meet in court, and once again, I will be able to prove my point. I have successfully done so in 2016 and 2021, and I am determined to do it again, both in the People's Court and in a court of law," Sarma said.
Meanwhile, Sarma's wife has issued a statement on the claims made by Gogoi. She said Pride East Entertainments - like any other qualifying enterprise - is eligible to participate in government-supported programs/incentive schemes. "However in the present case, pertaining to the PM Kisan Sampada Scheme, Pride East Entertainments has neither claimed nor received a single paisa of government subsidy, despite meeting all the eligibility criteria."
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