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Assam CM's wife files Rs 100-crore defamation suit against Manish Sisodia over corruption allegations

Sisodia, citing media reports, had claimed that Assam government procured PPE kits for Rs 600 a piece from other companies, but gave urgent supply orders to the firms linked to the business partners of Sarma's wife and son for Rs 990 a piece.

June 21, 2022 / 09:44 PM IST
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma (File image)

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma (File image)

Rinki Sarma Bhuyan, the wife of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, has filed a Rs 100-crore defamation suit against Delhi Deputy CM and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia over the corruption allegations he levelled against her, reports said on June 21.

Sisodia, referring to media reports at a press conference in New Delhi on June 4, said that while the Assam government procured PPE kits for Rs 600 a piece from other companies, Sarma gave urgent supply orders to the firms belonging to the business partners of his wife and son for Rs 990 a piece, “taking advantage of the emergency situation”.

Sisodia had, in a tweet, attached the supply order of 5,000 kits at the rate of Rs 990 from National Health Mission (NHM) to JCB Industries, of which Bhuyan is a partner, on March 18, 2020.

Sarma was, notably, serving as the state's health minister in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.

“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 had said, citing the media reports.

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Hitting back at the Delhi deputy CM, Sarma had said that although the NHM issued the order, the company had raised no bill and the kits were gifted to the government. “Not a single penny was transacted, where is the corruption?” he had tweeted.

"Due to acute shortage then, every government, including yours (Delhi government) waived the tender for PPE kit and went for direct purchase. Don’t cherry pick from half the documents. Have the courage to put (forward) all the facts. Don’t show half of a document trail, have courage to put all the facts (sic)," he wrote.

“My wife gathered the courage to come forward and donated around 1,500 of them free of cost to the government to save lives. She didn’t take a single penny," the Assam CM had further stated.

Apart from Sisodia, Assam's main opposition parties including Congress, Raijor Dal and Assam Jatiya Parishad have cornered the government over the issue. They have demanded a high-level probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) or any other central agencies into the alleged irregularities in the supply of PPE kits in 2020 by a firm linked to Sarma’s wife.

Bhuyan has claimed that she did not take a “single penny” for supplying PPE kits and asserted that she had always been “transparent” about her “giving back to the society”.

(With PTI inputs)
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first published: Jun 21, 2022 09:44 pm
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