The Assam BJP has hit back at the state Congress over the accusations it levelled against the saffron party over arrest of Ashok Saikia, son of former Assam chief minister Hiteshwar Saikia, in a 25-year-old loan default case.
Reacting to the accusations of the Assam Congress that the saffron party is ‘using’ the CBI to ‘harass’ senior Congress leader Debabrata Saikia, Assam BJP chief Bhabesh Kalita said that his party is in no need of intimidating any opposition leader as many of them have already joined the BJP.
“Easten Assam has already turned saffron. Many opposition MLAs have already joined us. There is no need for us to intimidate or harass any opposition leaders for them to join us,” said Assam BJP president Bhabesh Kalita.
Ashok Saikia, the younger son of former Assam chief minister Hiteshwar Saikia, was arrested by the CBI on Sunday evening in Guwahati in connection with a 25-year-old loan default case.
Ashok Saikia is the younger brother of Assam Congress MLA and leader of opposition in state assembly Debabrata Saikia.
However, a CBI (central bureau of investigation) court granted bail to Ashok Saikia on Monday.
The arrest of Ashok Saikia was related to an alleged loan scam in the Assam State Co-operative and Agriculture Development (ASCARD) Bank.
The CBI carried out a raid at the Sarumototia residence of Ashok Saikia in connection with a case (No 202/1998) registered with Paltan Bazar police station.
The case was handed over to the CBI in 2001.
The case was transferred to the CBI on the basis of complaints (No. 5/E/ 2001 and 6/E/2001) filed in the Kolkata Branch of the CBI.
In 2013, Ashok Saikia was convicted in the 6/E/2001 case.
While talking to media persons, Ashok Saikia claimed he has already cleared the dues to the bank.
He produced a statement of the bank in this regard.
The bank statement says: “This is to certify that Sri Ashok Kr. Saikia, Director, HPS India Pvt. Ltd., resident of Nandan Nagar, Sarumataria, Dispur Guwahati-6, was the loanee of Assam State, Co-Operative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank Ltd.”
“He has availed loan amount of Rs. 9, 37,701.00 only under Bridge loan scheme during the year 1996. As per our letter Ref. No. ASCARDB (L/C) 192/2002/61 Dated. 14.09.2011 under the compromise settlement scheme he has fully repay (repaid) the dues both principal and interest. Now his aforesaid loan is liquidated,” it said.
The statement, issued on October 10, 2015, was signed by the then General Manager in-charge, H.N. Borah.
Meanwhile, a senior Congress leader alleged that the CBI is being ‘used’ by the BJP-led central government to ‘harass’ the leader of the opposition after his strong statement on Saturday in connection with the claims of state BJP leaders on switching sides to the saffron party.
“Saikia yesterday said that he would never join the BJP and his name was speculated just to demoralise Congress workers. The BJP is now using the CBI to intimidate Saikia. This is the tactic of the BJP across the country,” the Congress leader told news agency PTI on the condition of anonymity.