Two days after RP Sarmah, BJP MP from Tezpur had reportedly alleged that a minister in the Sarbananda Sonowal government takes “commissions” against award of contracts in departments under his ministry, the Assam BJP has called a core committee meeting and asked both – the MP and the minister – to attend it.
“Irrigation and handloom minister Ranjit Dutta has lodged a formal complaint with state president Ranjeet Kumar Dass against Lok Sabha member RP Sarmah who reportedly alleged that the minister took commission for awarding a contract to someone. The president has called an office-bearers meeting on Saturday, which will be followed by a core committee meeting to look into the complaint,” Dilip Saikia, general secretary of the state BJP said.
Saikia said that the party had seriously viewed the issue arising out of the MP’s reported allegation against the minister, and Ram Lal, national secretary who holds charge of Assam affairs would attend the core committee meeting. “We have seen some video footage in a local TV news channel in which a person shown as RP Sarmah had made some serious allegation against the minister. The MP however has claimed that he had never given any interview to any TV channel and made any allegation against any minister,” Saikia said.
Lok Sabha member Sarmah, according to the TV news channel, had also allegedly said that some other ministers of the Sonowal government were also into the business of taking a certain percentage as “commission” for awarding contracts. While Sarmah has denied giving any such interview, the TV news channel said it was a “sting operation” in which the MP made the remark about the minister.
“I am ready to accept any decision taken by the party. I have full trust in chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and party president Dass,” Sarmah said here on Thursday. “I am also ready to provide proof at the appropriate time,” he said. Minister Dutta on his part not only denied Sarmah’s alleged charges, but also retorted back, saying the Lok Sabha member had lost his mental balance. “He has lost his mental balance. He is frustrated,” minister Dutta said.
Chief minister Sonowal, who had, on the day of his taking oath in May last year, had declared a policy of zero-tolerance against corruption. On Wednesday too Sonowal had made it clear that there was no scope for any compromise in cases of corruption. “As many as 56 government officers have been sent to jail in the last 16 months after being arrested on charges of corruption,” Sonowal said.
Meanwhile, Lok Sabha member Sarmah on Thursday said he has been with the RSS and the BJP for several decades and was more concerned about the party’s image. “Someone may call me mad, mentally imbalanced and frustrated, that is his concern and problem. But my concern is that my Party and the Lotus should bloom throughout India and the North East. BJP is very dear to me and I respect it as my biological mother,” Sarmah said in a Facebook post on Thursday.