Guwahati (Assam): Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma hit out at the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia over allegations of malpractice in the supply of PPE kits during the COVID-19 pandemic and said he will initiate legal action against Sisodia.
In his clarification, the Assam CM said, “At a time when the entire country was facing the worst pandemic in over 100 years, Assam hardly had any PPE Kits. My wife took the courage of coming forward and donated around 1,500 PPE kits free of cost to the government to save lives. She didn’t take a single penny.”
Sisodia on Saturday alleged that when Sarma was the state Health Minister back in 2020, he had given PPE kit orders to his wife and son’s business partner’s companies.
He said, “Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma gave govt orders to his wife and son’s business partner’s companies in 2020 for PPE kits when he (CM) was the then health min. An elected CM has indulged in such corrupt activities, will the BJP put him behind the bars?”
Sarma replying to the allegation said, “While you Mr Manish Sisodia at that point of time showed a completely different side. You refused my multiple calls to help Assamese people stuck in Delhi. I can never forget one instance when I had to wait 7 days just to get an Assamese COVID victim’s body from Delhi’s mortuary.”
“Stop sermonising and I will see you soon in Guwahati as you will face criminal defamation”, Sarma warned.
Rinku Bhuyan Sarma, wife of Himanta Biswa Sarma also took to Twitter to issue a clarification over Sisodia’s allegations. She wrote, “In the first week of the pandemic, not a single PPE kit was available with Assam. Taking cognizance of the same, I reached out to a business acquaintance and delivered about 1500 PPE kits to NHM with a lot of effort. Later on, I wrote to the NHM to treat the same as part of my CSR,” she wrote.
“I didn’t take a single penny out of the supply. I have always been transparent about my belief in giving back to society, irrespective of my husband’s political standing,” she added.
The Assam CM tagged an acknowledgement document addressed to JCB industries for the PPE kits.
The notification read, “Your supply of 1485 kits has served the healthcare workers as well as patients, as a shield from the disease…..I appreciate your initiative to come forward and donate the above items as part of corporate social responsibility.”