APN News

The controversy of ‘COVID-19 corruption’ is totally baseless: Government spokesperson Minister Pijush Hazarika

Bhupen Goswami

Guwahati: Opposition parties in Assam have demanded a probe into the alleged corruption during the Covid-19 period involving the family of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Opposition parties have demanded a CBI probe into the corruption allegations levelled against cm Himanta Biswa Sarma’s family and firms linked to his family. The Trinamool Congress has levelled serious allegations against the BJP government in Assam. TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said that the Health Minister of the Assam government and those associated with him have committed the “PPE Kit Scam”. They have demanded that the matter be investigated under the supervision of the Supreme Court. He said that shocking information of RTI has come to light on the supply of PPE kits during the Corona epidemic in Assam in 2020. According to the investigation, a major scam has been allegedly committed in the involvement of close relatives of the then Assam Health Minister. He said that it has come to light that the corona epidemic started spreading in March-April 2020. Then, ppe kits were purchased in Assam at the rate of Rs.2200 per piece. While in the open market then the price of the same PPE kit was Rs 600-700.  A total of 10,000 PPE kits were purchased from Agile Associate at the rate of Rs 2,200 per piece. It involved two companies called Agile Associates and Meditime Healthcare and the shareholding of the wife and son of the then Assam Health Minister.

Assam Congress president Bhupen Bora said that CM Himanta Biswa Sarma and his family tried to make big profits out of the sufferings of the people in the Covid-19 times. Assam Congress president Bhupen Bora said businesses were suffering at a time when many people could not eat twice a day. On the other hand, following the allegation, government spokesperson, Water Resources and Public Relations Minister Pijush Hazarika on Saturday reacted to corruption allegations involving assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s family during the Covid period. According to the minister, the opposition’s demand for an inquiry is completely baseless, and the allegation is “completely false.”

From the chief minister’s residence, no PPE kits or any Covid-related items have been made available. It was a crucial time, and even the Delhi government and the state of Karnataka had earlier banned the transportation of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the lockdown. At that time, India lacked its personal protective equipment (PPE). Corporate Social Responsibility also required the government’s approval. The family did not get any money from the PPE kit, and this allegation is completely untrue,” the minister said. The minister also slammed the media for spreading false information without verifying it. He also accuses the media of lacking in verification discipline.

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