NGO ‘exposes’ Assam minister’s scam

The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), an NGO extensively using RTI to expose corruption on higher places, on Monday claimed to have unearthed sensational scandals involving Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

KMSS secretary Akhil Gogoi told reporters, “The electorate had the right to know how the health minister has been able to accumulate huge wealth within a short span of time. He should explain how he could buy luxury cars amounting Rs 25 lakhs and Rs 15 lakhs in 2008 in the name of his daughter who was just five years old at that time. The documents procured by us show that cars were bought through cash payment.”
The RTI activist, who is already in the eye of storm for taking the minister head on, also produced the documents, procured under the RTI Act, before the media in connection with the purchase of vehicles. “The documents clearly mention that both the vehicles were purchased through cash mode of payment,” said Mr Gogoi, regretting that corruption was being encouraged by the individuals in high position. Accusing that minister is suspected to have piled up properties by misappropriating the government fund, the powerful NGO of farmers demanded that a CBI probe should be ordered to investigate the disproportionate assets of minister and his close relatives.
In what was more embarrassing for the government, Mr Gogoi claimed that these information about the minister’s property were made available to them by the ministerial colleagues of the health minister who are fed up with the minister’s conduct.
“Mr Sarma’s conduct is beyond toleration now and even members of the Congress Party are approaching us with documents to expose the minister,” claimed Mr Gogoi. The health minister, however, washed off his hand by clarifying that cars were bought by his wife who herself had business.
Ms Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, the wife of the health minister, in a statement threatened to file a case against Mr Gogoi with the Child Protection Tribunal for the efforts to tarnish the image of her daughter. Ms Sarma, denying all the allegations of the KMSS, said that she had gifted the vehicles to her daughter from her own income.
“I am a business woman and my enterprise could do business to the tune of Rs 14 crores in the last financial year,” she claimed.
The RTI activist has also made an appeal to the people of Assam to protect his life as it was under threat for raising the people’s issues.