The Aam Aadmi Party on Monday filed a police complaint against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, his wife and his son’s associates for allegedly supplying personal protective equipment, or PPE, kits above market rates during the first wave of Covid-19 in 2020.
On Monday, the Aam Aadmi Party organised a protest against Sarma and demanded his resignation as the state’s chief minister. “He has no right to continue as the CM and should immediately resign,” the party wrote on Twitter.
The Assam chief minister gave the contract to supply medical utilities to his wife and his son’s associates in 2020 without following a proper tender process, AAP leader Manish Sisodia said on Saturday. At that time Sarma was the health minister of Assam.
Sisodia referred to a report done by The Wire and The Cross Current about the alleged scam based on the Right To Information replies from the state’s National Health Mission.
Sarma in 2020, gave urgent supply orders to his wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma’s firm JCB Industries and an associate’s company Meditime Healthcare.
While the Assam government had procured PPE kits at Rs 600 per piece from other companies, JCB Industries and Meditime Healthcare had charged Rs 990 a piece, Sisodia alleged.
Sarma, however, refuted the allegations and claimed that his wife had gifted the PPE kits to the Assam government during the first wave of the pandemic.
“At a time when the entire country was facing the worst pandemic in over 100 years, Assam hardly had any PPE kits,” Sarma wrote on Twitter. “My wife took the courage of coming forward and donating around 1,500 free of cost to the government to save lives. She didn’t take a single penny.”
On Saturday, Sarma also threatened to file a defamation case against Sisodia.
On Thursday, Opposition parties such as the Congress, the Raijor Dal and the Assam Jatiya Parishad demanded an inquiry by the central agencies into the allegations against Sarma.
Congress workers wore PPE kits and held protests in Guwahati, seeking a probe by either the Enforcement Directorate or the Central Bureau of Investigation.