Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma reportedly spent 58 crores of public funds on travel

The report by The Wire has revealed that the chief minister used public funds to hire private flights to BJP meetings as well as various weddings.

A report by The Wire and Cross Currents has stated that the Assam Chief Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma has used state funds amounting to crores of rupees to hire helicopters and chartered planes for campaigning across India on behalf of the BJP. This news came in after the Assam government replied to a Right to Information.

This is in violation of the rules set by the Election Commission of India which specifies that official visits cannot be used for election campaigns. The Wire’s report also details that the chief minister used public funds to sponsor these planes and helicopters to attend various weddings and even BJP related meetings.

Interestingly just shortly after these reports were published, the chief minister’s office responded to these allegations by retweeting the story and calling it ‘a lazy hit job’, from the official handle of the chief ministers’ X, formerly Twitter, page.

The tweet also read that the report used a ‘single tweet’ dishonestly, “Using a single tweet from a given day to assume it was the sole agenda of that very day reeks of a malicious attempt to spread disinformation and dishonest intention of the authors.” However, The Wire’s report has cited multiple instances and not a single tweet.

The report has even highlighted how the RTI response details that one single trip to attend a BJP minister’s daughter’s wedding in Uttar Pradesh reportedly cost the state 23,43,750 rupees. The state government’s Consumer Minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass has also stated, as per The Hindu, that from 2021 onwards a whopping 58 crore rupees has been spent for travel costs of the chief minister and other leaders.

Allegations of corruption against the government seem to be consistent. In March 2024, the opposition in Assam called the United Opposition Forum Assam (UOFA), which consists of 16 parties, released a document called the ‘chargesheet’ which detailed a series of 60 allegations against the chief minister and the BJP of corruption.

Similarly, in 2023, the spouse of Himanta Biswa Sarma, Riniki Bhuyan, was also accused of corruption. The Congress party’s Gaurav Gogoi had accused her of getting a credit subsidy of rupees 10 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana. Bhuyan in return sued Gogoi for defamation. In 2014 as well, Sarma, who became chief minister for the BJP led government in 2021, was also accused of corruption and investigated by the CBI in 2014 in relation to the Saradha scam. His house and a news channel owned by his wife were raided by the investigative agency. Sarma was accused of receiving about 20 lakh per month from Sudipta Sen of the Saradha business, in return he was accused of letting Sen run their business easily in the state. Sarma had claimed that the accusations were part of a political conspiracy. A year later, he was soon to leave the Congress for the BJP in 2015. He became the chief minister of Assam in 2021 after BJP won the elections, and has served since.

The chief minister’s rule in Assam had also been under fire previously for extra-judicial killings since he began his term in the state assembly. In a press conference, he responded that police shootings ‘should be the pattern.’ In recent times, Sarma has also been noted for giving communal speeches.



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