GUWAHATI- Rinki Bhuyan Sarma, wife of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, has filed a Rs 10 crore defamation suit against Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi over ‘false’ allegations of irregularities in a food processing project. Rinki Bhuiyan’s lawyer Devjit Saikia said the case was filed in the court of civil judge (senior division) in Kamrup Metropolitan on Friday.
He said that my client has filed a defamation claim of Rs 10 crore against Gaurav Gogoi for making several posts on ‘X’. We have made it clear that we had never submitted any application to get subsidy.
Advocate Devjit Saikia claimed that no process has been initiated to get the subsidy. For this, a show cause notice was sent to his client’s company on May 26 this year and the Food Processing Ministry also sent an email. He said that the approval for the project was given on November 22, 2022. In the last email we were told that if we did not submit our proposal our claim would be forfeited. We are not answering anything to get subsidy.
The senior advocate claimed that whatever Gogoi has said on social media about Rinki Bhuyan and her company ‘Pride East Entertainment’ is not based on facts. He said that he did not do full preparation (regarding the allegations). Getting approval for the project does not mean that subsidy has been received. We will fight this case with all our strength.
Controversy has arisen after a report by Guwahati’s digital media ‘The Crosscurrent’. It is alleged that within a month of purchasing more than 50 bighas (about 17 acres) of agricultural land in Darigaji village of Kaliabor in Nagaon district, it was converted into industrial land. The land was purchased by a company owned by ‘Pride East Entertainment’ of which Rinki Bhuiyan is the managing director. After this, Gogoi tweeted and accused Himanta Biswa Sarma and his wife of corruption in getting subsidy from the central government for the project.
Gogoi has sought the intervention of Union Minister Piyush Goyal to reveal the facts regarding receipt of subsidy. The Assam MP had mentioned that on March 22, 2023, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Goyal, in his reply in the Lok Sabha on a question related to the government’s initiative to invest in Assam, had said that under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY) till January 31, 2022, A list of food processing projects receiving support was given.
He had said that the name of M/s Pride East Entertainment Private Limited has been mentioned at serial number 7 of the list. In this, the amount of grant-in-aid approved has been stated to be Rs 10 crore. Gogoi had said that from the answers given in the Lok Sabha and the list of beneficiaries on the website of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, it is clear that Rs 10 crore has been sanctioned in the name of Pride East Entertainment Private Limited.