The social media spat between Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Congress MP from the state Gaurav Gogoi over the latter’s allegation of the involvement of Sarma’s wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma in a land scam took an ugly turn today with both making personal attacks on each other.
While the two leaders have been engaged in a public spat since yesterday (September 13) over the alleged scam, it took a different turn at 5.43 pm today when the chief minister posted an intriguing comment in his official handle on X (formerly Twitter).
“During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, one of Assam’s tallest politicians experienced post-Covid complications. We advised his family to transfer him to Delhi for better treatment, with the state government covering the expenses. However, his distinguished son refused to take the patient to Delhi,” he posted.
Incidentally, former Assam chief minister and Gaurav Gogoi’s father died at Gauhati Medical College Hospital in 2020 following post-Covid complications.
Also Read: Himanta Biswa Sarma's wife files Rs 10 crore defamation case against Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi
Sarma’s social media post led to speculation that he was hinting at Tarun Gogoi’s death and indirectly accusing Gaurav Gogoi of being an irresponsible and uncaring son.
Reacting to this post, Gaurav Gogoi uploaded an old video of his late father in which the former CM talked about Sarma as someone who had backstabbed him. “I have never met a person (Himanta Biswa Sarma) who could touch my feet and put a dagger in my back at the same time (in Assamese),” posted Gaurav Gogoi.
Before joining the BJP in 2015, Himanta Biswa Sarma was in Congress and was regarded as the most trusted lieutenant of Tarun Gogoi. After 2010, with the arrival of Gaurav Gogoi in Assam politics, Sarma fell out with Tarun Gogoi reportedly because of Gaurav Gogoi was unhappy with Sarma being projected as the natural inheritor of Tarun Gogoi. Eventually, Sarma rebelled against Tarun Gogoi and when Congress high command backed the former CM, Sarma joined the BJP in 2015 and became the chief architect of BJP’s victory in 2016 and 2021.
In fact, Sarma mentioned the same in another post, in response to Gaurav Gogoi’s advice to him to attend the assembly to answer the Opposition’s queries on the alleged land scam by his wife. “Yes, I am agitated. There have been numerous reasons for my anger against your 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,” he posted.
On September 13, Gaurav Gogoi, Wednesday alleged that Sarma used his clout to get subsidies for his wife’s company from the Government of India. “PM Modi launched the Kisan Sampada scheme to double the income of farmers of 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 credit-linked subsidy. Are Central government schemes meant to enrich the BJP? (sic),” posted Gaurav Gogoi.
In his post, Gogoi attached a document from the Union Ministry of Food Processing website which shows that Pride East Entertainment Private Limited, of which Sarma’s wife, Riniki Bhuyan Sharma, is chairman and managing director, had been approved a grant of Rs 10 crore against a project of Rs 25.87 crore. The grant was approved under the agro-processing cluster (APC) scheme.
Chief Minister Sarma has repeatedly asserted that his wife’s company did not take any subsidy from the Union government. Today (September 14), Riniki Bhuyan Sarma also, in a social media post, denied having received any subsidy from the government and said that she was going to file a defamation case worth Rs 10 crore against Gaurav Gogoi.
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