ASSAM MINISTER SHARES HIMANTA-JAIMANGAL PHOTOS ON TWITTER
Terming the FIR against him by a Jharkhand Congress MLA as ‘fake’, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday raked up the Bofors scam to hit back at the opposition party.
Congress MLA Kumar Jaimangal has filed a complaint against Sarma in Jharkhand, claiming that three party legislators who were arrested in Bengal with cash amounting to lakhs of rupees, had also offered him a visit to Guwahati to meet the Assam chief minister and strike a deal for toppling the JMM-led government in his state. A senior minister of Sarma’s Cabinet, Pijush Hazarika, however, tweeted photographs of the Assam CM and Jaimangal to claim that the two were regularly in touch and the Jharkhand MLA’s claims were “baseless”.
“5 days before filing the fabricated FIR, Hon’ble CM Dr.@himantabiswa sir took him to the Residence of the Hon’ble Union Coal Minister Shri @JoshiPralhad ji at 9 am of 26th July, 2022 in order to help him in his trade union related matter,” Hazarika tweeted, sharing photographs of Sarma and Jaimangal with Joshi. He asserted that the Jharkhand MLA’s allegation that the three arrested legislators had lured him was false.
Demanding action against Jaimangal, the Assam minister added, “Mr. @KumarJaimangal has been regularly meeting HCM Dr.@himantabiswa sir. He should face the law for making a fraudulent allegation against Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam and against those tribal MLAs.”
Sharing his cabinet colleague’s tweet, Sarma wrote, “Fake FIR in #Jharkhand. The so-called FIR looks like @INCIndia asking Ottavio Quattrocchi to file a case against Bofors.”
The Rs 64-crore Bofors payoff case involved the Congress-led Union government and members of Swedish government in a arms deal scam in the 1980s and 1990s, with Italian businessman Ouattrocchi figuring as a ‘middleman’ in the deal. Three Congress legislators — Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachchap and Naman Bixal Kongari — were arrested in Bengal on Sunday after a huge amount of cash was allegedly seized from a car in which they were travelling.
The Congress, which is part of the JMM-led government in Jharkhand, alleged that the BJP was trying to topple the government there by a offering ministerial berth and Rs 10 crore each as bribe to its MLAs.
Jaimangal had filed a complaint in Ranchi on Sunday claiming that Kachchap and Bixal Kongari had asked him to travel to Kolkata and offered him money, while Ansari wanted to take him to Guwahati from Kolkata to attend a meeting with Sarma.
Soon after the FIR was lodged, Sarma had told reporters here that Congress leaders stay in touch with him as friends owing to his over-two-decade-long association with the party.
Sarma had joined the BJP in 2015 and had assumed the post of chief minister of Assam in May 2021.