Opposition parties and leaders in Assam have joined hands to demand a high-level inquiry into the news report that accused Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s family of ‘illegally’ grabbing government-owned land. 

An investigative report published by  The Wire and The Crosscurrent claimed that a real estate company co-founded by Assam CM’s wife – “Riniki Bhuyan Sarma – of which their son Nandil Biswa Sarma… owned a significant number of shares – is itself occupying around 18 acres of government land intended for landless individuals and institutions”. 

“The company in question, RBS Realtors Private Limited, acquired most of the 18 acres in two stages, first in 2006-2007 and then in 2009. During that period, Sarma’s wife, Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, was a director of the company, and Sarma himself was an influential minister in the erstwhile Tarun Gogoi government,” the report claimed. 

One third of this land is prime real estate abutting Guwahati airport and Tech City, in Bongora, Kamrup district, the report stated. 

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Following publication of the report, opposition parties and leaders in Assam have launched an all-out attack on Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. 

The opposition parties have demanded a high-level inquiry into the matter by the central bureau of investigation (CBI) and enforcement directorate (ED). 

“It is unfortunate that the chief minister who always speaks and portrays himself as acting against corruption, especially against the land brokers, is himself involved in such illegal act where the issue of land patta of poor landless farmers are associated with it,” Assam Rajya Sabha MP Ajit Bhuyan said. 

Bhuyan said: “The allegations of illegal grabbing of ceiling surplus Government land, meant for poor and landless farmers, against Assam chief minister and his family is highly condemnable and it requires a high-level independent enquiry.” 

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“The Chief Minister himself should order an impartial and high-level enquiry, for his own sake, if he wishes to come out clean from these allegations. People who speak against corruption should always stay out of it,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Assam Congress president Bhupen Bora challenged the Assam chief minister to clarify his stand on the allegations. 

“At a time when Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is trying to set an example before the people on the issue of making government land encroachment – free, a national news web portal ‘The Wire’ has published a news item about the CM’s family members’ involvement in encroachment on government land by violating all rules, thereby leading to an unprecedented incident in the political history of Assam and causing consternation among the people in the state,” Bora said. 

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