GUWAHATI: The opposition parties in Assam have once again trained their guns on chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma over allegations of “land scam” by his wife and entrepreneur Riniki Bhuyan Sarma.
Opposition Congress and Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) demanded a “fair probe” into the “land scam” allegations against Riniki Bhuyan Sarma – wife of CM Himanta Biswa Sarma – just hours after a report was published in The Cross Current.
According to The Cross Current report, a substantial part of agricultural land measuring 50 bigha 2 katha 19 lecha at Darigaji village at Kaliabar under Borbhogiya Mouza in Nagaon district of Assam was “mysteriously reclassified” as industrial land just a month after the piece of land was bought by the chief minister’s wife.
The report also alleged that the Assam CM’s wife – Riniki Bhuyan Sarma – received Rs 10 crore as a subsidy from the ministry of food processing, in the name of her company – Pride East Entertainment Pvt Ltd.
Reacting to the media report, Assam Congress stated: “Instead of working for the people of the state as chief minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma is trying to work for his wife and family. Instead of public service, Himanta Biswa Sarma’s main goal is to increase his wealth.”
“CM’s wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma had taken Rs 10 crore subsidy to set up industries by changing the category of an agricultural land. It is very unfortunate incident,” APCC media department chairman Bharat Chandra Narah and vice-chairman Bedbrat Bora said.
The two Assam Congress leaders claimed CM Himanta Biswa Sarma has been involved in several irregularities and scams.
“The chief minister’s wife has also violated the ceiling act and companies act simultaneously. The chief minister has become a kind of protector and predator. CM Sarma evicted many from their houses by giving them just a day’s notice. He trampled the laws in the case of his wife,” Narah and Bora said.
“Therefore, no official of the department dared to oppose it despite the fact that the company owned by the CM’s wife bought 50 bighas, 2 katha and 19 lechas of agricultural land on the same day, in the same field and on the same plot,” they said.
According to the Ceiling Act, no person or company can own more than 49.5 bighas of agricultural land be possible to change the class of agricultural land immediately in just 10 months.
Both Congress leaders also demanded a proper investigation into the change of category of agricultural land.
“The people of Assam have the right to know which district commissioner and circle officer carried out this process. The people of Assam should also know whether the rules and regulations were fully followed in the category change of agricultural land,” they also said.
“We demand a proper investigation into the entire incident,” they said and added that it is also ‘mysterious’ that a company operating in the entertainment sector has been allowed to set up a food processing plant.
Further, reacting to the media report, Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) president Lurinjyoti Gogoi and general secretary Jagadish Bhuyan demanded a thorough judicial inquiry into the allegations.
“This transformation is alleged to have occurred under circumstances raising concerns about the misuse of government influence,” Gogoi and Bhuyan said.
“We firmly believe in the principles of honesty, integrity, and zero tolerance for corruption, as advocated by the chief minister himself. Therefore, we find it imperative to call for a thorough and impartial judicial inquiry by the Guwahati High Court into these alarming allegations, particularly those related to the land irregularities,” the AJP leaders said.
“What further compounds the gravity of these allegations is the claim that the chief minister’s wife, Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, reportedly benefited from the Prime Minister’s Kishan Sampada Yojana, a government scheme designed to support farmers. This has raised questions about transparency and accountability at the highest levels of government,” the AJP leaders added.