“Dive into the unfolding controversy surrounding a purported Rs 10 crore government subsidy linked to Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma‘s wife’s company. Explore the allegations, counterclaims, and the escalating dispute with Congress leader Tarun Gogoi.”
The controversy involving Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma and Congress leader Tarun Gogoi revolves around allegations concerning a credit-linked subsidy received by the media company “Pride East Entertainments Private Limited,” which is associated with CM Sarma’s wife, Riniki Bhuyan Sarma.
In this ongoing dispute, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma continue to exchange heated words over the accusations against Riniki Bhuyan Sarma. The core issue is the credit-linked subsidy that was allegedly granted to Pride East Entertainments Pvt. Ltd., a media company linked to Riniki Bhuyan Sarma.
In response to these allegations, Riniki Bhuyan Sarma has announced her intention to file a defamation case against Gaurav Gogoi. She has clarified that Pride East Entertainments Pvt. Ltd., operating independently since 2006, is a law-abiding company with transparent financial records available to the public. She emphasized that, like any eligible enterprise, her company has the right to participate in government-supported programs and incentive schemes.
Regarding the specific case of the PM Kisan Sampada Scheme, she asserted that her company neither applied for nor received any government subsidy, despite meeting all the eligibility criteria.
Pride East Entertainments Pvt. Ltd. is a media entity with a significant presence in the northeastern region of India. Riniki Bhuyan Sarma serves as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the company, which operates under the legal framework of the Companies Act 1956 and has a vast audience base of 100 million viewers, both nationally and internationally. In addition to its media operations, Riniki is also involved in preserving Assam’s royal silk tradition known as Muga through an initiative called “The Golden Threads of Assam.”
The allegations against Pride East Entertainments and the counterclaims have escalated this controversy. Gaurav Gogoi alleged that Riniki Bhuyan Sarma’s company received a substantial Rs 10 crore subsidy under a credit-linked scheme, citing data from the Ministry of Food Processing’s website.
In response, CM Himanta Biswa Sarma vehemently denied these allegations and expressed his willingness to face any consequences, even retirement from public life, if evidence emerged of his wife receiving or claiming government funds. He also threatened to file a defamation case against Gaurav Gogoi. Another Congress leader claimed that the alleged modus operandi involved purchasing agricultural land, converting it to industrial land, and receiving a government subsidy of ₹10 crore.
According to Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh, the alleged method was quite straightforward. He stated, “Acquire agricultural land, convert it into industrial land, and receive a ₹10 crore subsidy from the Indian government.” Vallabh made these remarks during a media briefing.
Citing reports and publicly available documents, Vallabh claimed that Riniki Bhuyan Sarma had acquired 50 bighas of agricultural land in Darigaji village, Nagaon district, Assam. He further alleged that while farmers earned a meager Rs 27 per day from cultivation in 2018-19, a substantial sum of ₹10 crore, originally intended for farmers, was granted to a media company associated with the wife of Assam’s Chief Minister.
These allegations have ignited a political storm in Assam, with the Congress party accusing CM Sarma of directing government subsidies toward his wife’s company. Gaurav Gogoi raised concerns about potential misuse of central government schemes for the benefit of BJP politicians’ families.
Opposition leaders have expressed worries about the reclassification of agricultural land as industrial, which they believe facilitated the subsidy. Lurinjyoti Gogoi, President of Assam Jatiya Parishad, has called for a comprehensive and impartial judicial inquiry into the matter by the Gauhati High Court.
As the dispute continues, both sides maintain their positions. CM Sarma asserts that no government subsidies were received, while the opposition calls for transparency and further investigation.
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