GUWAHATI: As Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma gets summoned by a court in Uttarakhand for his derogatory remark against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader and former Union minister Rani Narah was summoned by the Chief Minister’s Special Vigilance Cell in Guwahati to appear before it on September 19.

Rani Narah, wife of former Congress minister Bharat Narah, was the Narah was the Union minister of state for tribal affairs. Narah was elected to the Rajya Sabha from 2016-22.

Narah has been summoned for interrogation by the investigating agency in connection with the Rs 1 crore scam in the implementation of a scheme for the distribution of tube wells in Majuli (now district) under MPLAD in Jorhat district in the 2012-13 fiscal.

The CM’s SVC has already registered case No 04/2017 under section 120B)/468/471/409/ 420 of IPC read with section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 in this connection.

Two persons—former Jorhat ADC (Development) Anjanabh Chaliha and Majuli Assistant Planning Officer Jitumoni Dutta were already arrested by the CM’s SVC for their involvement in the Rs 1 crore misappropriation of MPLAD (MP fund in Majuli.

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Around Rs 1 crore meant for the installation of deep tube wells and hand pumps in Majuli was swindled without implementing the schemes.

Reacting to the summons, Rani Narah said,” I am ready to appear before the CM’s Special Vigilance Cell tomorrow. But as per my knowledge concern, the fund was released to the Jorhat district commissioner and he is the responsible officer for the implementation of the scheme. I have no idea where they have utilized the funds.”

“The case was registered in 2017 during the tenure of former chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal. However, one DSP investing in the case told me that they had sufficient documents on the scam and I need not appear before them. But now they took up the case after seven years,” Narah told reporters here.

“An MP has nothing to do with MPLAD fund. It was handed over to the DC. distributed the funds to five districts- Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Tinsukia and Dibrugarh. But I do not know about the implementation status,” Narah said.

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“They aim to tame our voice from speaking against chief minister’s wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma’s land scam. But nothing can deter us from protesting. We will continue to speak against her and demand a probe into it,” she said.

“It is nothing but an attack on us for raising our voice against Himanta Biswa Sarma and his family for the land scam. He is using police and other investigation agencies to tame our voice from protesting,” Bharat Narah, chairperson of Media Department, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee said.

The summon was issued to Rani Narah after the summons was issued by the Udham Singh district and session judge in Uttarakhand in response to a complaint filed by Congress state spokesperson Ganesh Upadhay, regarding alleged defamatory comment made by Sarma during the 2022 Uttarakhand assembly election campaign.

The summons were issued by the court directing the chief minister to appear before the court on September 21 to respond to their allegations.

“During a public rally in Kiccha town of Udham Singh district on February 11, 2022, Sarma had questioned the lineage of Rahul Gandhi and made defamatory remarks against Sonia Gandhi. The remarks were inflammatory and misuse of IT Act,” Upadhay alleged.

In his address, Sarma had said: “Under General Bipin Rawat’s leadership, who was the pride of Uttarakhand and the nation as well, India conducted a surgical strike in Pakistan. Rahul Gandhi then asked for proof. Have we ever sought proof of which father’s son you are? What right do you have to ask for proof from the armed forces.”

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