After Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma's wife, Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, decided to file a lawsuit against Congress leader and Member of Parliament (MP) from the state's Kaliabor constituency Gaurav Gogoi, the current Assam Chief Minister argued that if owners of other news channels are allowed to operate their businesses, why can't his wife do the same.
During a press conference here in Guwahati on Thursday, CM Sarma questioned, "If the owners of other news channels can have their businesses, why can't my wife, who owns a media company, have any such?"
The chief minister also issued a challenge to anyone who could show that his wife had received government assistance. He declared that he would resign as chief minister if anyone could provide proof.
Earlier today, CM Sarma strongly denied allegations that his wife, Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, or her associated company received any subsidy from the Central government.
In response to Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi's claims made on social media, Sarma reaffirmed that no such grant had been received.
During a public exchange of words between the two political figures, Gogoi asserted that a company linked to Sarma's wife had allegedly received Rs 10 crore as part of a credit-linked subsidy under a central government scheme.
Sarma, addressing these allegations, stated his willingness to accept any punishment, even retiring from public life, if any concrete evidence emerged to support the claims of his wife or her firm benefiting from the alleged subsidy.
Meanwhile, taking to social media platform X, Riniki Bhuyan Sarma said that she has been left with no option but to file a defamation case with Rs 10 crore in damages against Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi, terming the matter "an attack to malign and defame a 17-year old Assamese enterprise, which has adhered to every aspect of the law, headed by a woman entrepreneur".
This comes after the Congress leader got into a war of words with Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma over the matter after he highlighted the name of Pride East Entertainments Pvt. Ltd. in a list of beneficiaries of the Centre's Pradhanmantri Kisan Sampada Yojana to receive a grant of Rs 10 crores.