Assam Trinamool Congress on June 8 organised a protest rally in Guwahati – ‘March to Rajbhawan’ – seeking a CBI inquiry against Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his wife’s company on the alleged corruption charge related to PPE kits.
The rally was led by Assam Trinamool Congress president Ripun Bora and they also submitted a memorandum to the prime minister through the governor seeking his intervention in the matter.
“Our demand is to constitute a CBI inquiry against chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his wife for their involvement in the purchase of PPE kit and sanitisers during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020,” Ripun Bora told reporters before submitting the memorandum.
“As per the RTI replies, there are three serious allegations. Number 1… the government and NHM have issued an order to one firm called JCB Industries that is owned by Riniki Bhuyan, wife of the chief minister of Assam. This firm was awarded 5000 PPE kits at the rate of Rs 900 per piece whereas, at that time as per the RTI report, the market price was only Rs 600 per piece. So, this high rate is a serious scam…corruption in the name of Covid patients.”
Bora who recently joined Trinamool Congress continued: “The chief minister and his wife lied to the nation when they failed to supply the 5000 numbers of PPE kits at that time. They have been able to supply only 1485 kits. Then the NHM cancelled their assignment and at that time Riniki Bhuyan said that they hadn’t supplied these but donated as their CSR activities.”
Bora further said that the NHM website clearly mentions the donated items are zero price.
“For example, N95 masks were donated by Tata Trusts and 500 oxygen concentrators were offered by Oil India Limited under their CSR activities. Their items are shown as Rs 0 but why Riniki Bhuyan’s firm’s items are shown as Rs 900 per piece? This is a serious scam. So, we Trinamool Congress demand a CBI inquiry,” said Bora.
Earlier, the Assam unit of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also lodged an FIR on the same issue and demanded that the chief minister should be suspended immediately.
A report by The Wire and Cross Current on the basis of RTI replies have exposed these anomalies.