The former Chief Minister of Assam, Tarun Gogoi, has dared the Finance Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, to file a case against ABP News for dragging his (read Sarma’s) name in the whole ‘Operation Dalal’ controversy.
Speaking to media persons at his Koinadhora residence in Guwahati on Thursday, Gogoi stated, “A high-level inquiry should be initiated against Himanta for his close proximity with a ‘shady person’ like Anuj Poddar. If he has the guts, let him file a case against the news channel. When I had dragged his name into the Louis Berger and Saradha scam cases, then, Himanta had filed two cases against me. Now, I dare him to take on ABP News.”
Meanwhile, Himanta has tweeted that he is “outraged” by an ABP News report linking him to a person whom he has never met or known in his life and that he has filed a Rs 100 cr defamation suit against the news channel.
“I am outraged by a @abpnewstv News report linking me to a person whom I have never met or known in my life. @abpnewstv news report has defamed me in public light.I have filed a Rs 100 cr defamation suit against ABP News before the Civil Judge,Sr division,Kamrup District, Guwahati,” Himanta said in the tweet.
I am outraged by a @abpnewstv News report linking me to a person whom I have never met or known in my life. @abpnewstv news report has defamed me in public light.I have filed a Rs 100 cr defamation suit against ABP News before the Civil Judge,Sr division,Kamrup District,Guwahati
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) June 21, 2018
Gogoi further stated that even Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had openly stated that Himanta was iinvolved in the Louis Berger and Saradha scams. “Now that he is in BJP, Sarbananda is maintaining a studied silence. During raids carried out in Anuj Poddar’s house, why did no other leader and only Himanta’s name surface?” questioned the former CM.
In a sharp repartee, Gogoi also said that Poddar’s diary has also revealed that Himanta enjoys close relationship with the “well-heeled people” thus pointing to the fact that he is involved in “big scams and has nothing to do much with the small ones”.
It may be mentioned that recently, the Income Tax Department had carried out a raid in ‘middleman’ Anuj Poddar’s house in the national capital for tax evasion charges and in this connection several incriminating documents were found in his residence establishing his links with Sarma.
Several transactions relating to projects and tenders between Sarma and Poddar have come to light. Moreover, Poddar has received a lot of information and facts relating to the Assam Government in his e-mail id.