Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s wife, Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, has sued Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi for defamation for making “false” charges of irregularities in a food processing facility. The lawsuit is for Rs10 crore.
Her attorney, senior lawyer Devajit Saikia, said that the case was filed in the Kamrup Metropolitan Court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) Friday.
“My client has sued Gaurav Gogoi for defamation after he made several tweets accusing Riniki Bhuyan Sarma’s company receiving central assistance for a food processing project. We have been very clear that we have never submitted an application for assistance,” he continued.
Saikia also asserted that the process to request a subsidy had not even been started by Sarma’s firm, and as a result, his client’s company had been sent a show-cause notice May 26 of this year, which was followed by an email from the Ministry of Food Processing.
“On November 22, 2022, the project received approval. We were informed in the previous email that if we failed to submit our proposal, our claim would expire. However, we have never sought any subsidy from the central government,” he claimed.
The senior lawyer alleged that anything Gogoi wrote on social media regarding Riniki Bhuyan Sarma and her company “Pride East Entertainments” was untrue.
“Gogoi failed to do his homework properly. A project’s approval does not imply that it has secured funding. We will defend the lawsuit vigorously,” he vowed.
Riniki Bhuyan Sharma bought 50 bigha 2 kata of agricultural land in Kaliabor Dargaji village in Nagaon district after Sarma became the Chief Minister two years ago.
Citing an RTI report, it was claimed that as per the ceiling law, no one can own more than 49.5 bigha of agricultural land and therefore, after the Chief Minister’s wife bought the land, its class was changed to industrial land.
A war of words on ‘X’ also erupted between Gaurav Gogoi and Himanta Biswa Sarma on this land scam allegation issue. Both of them were seen attacking each other on the social media platform.
The Congress MP also shot a letter to the Union Minister Piyush Goyal alleging that Riniki’s company also received a central government’s subsidy for building a food processing industry on the disputed land.
In the letter, Gaurav Gogoi said: “It has come to notice that the Ministry of Food Processing under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY) and Scheme for Creation of Infrastructure for Agro Clusters has allocated an amount of Rs. 10,00,00,000 to M/S Pride East Entertainment, the promoter of which is Riniki Bhuyan Sharma, the wife of Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma.”