From Dhrubajyoti Chakravorty
SHILLONG, Jan 17: Former Assam chief minister and senior Congress leader Tarun Gogoi on Saturday virtually backed his close associate Rakibul Hussain after allegation of amassing huge properties by the former minister surfaced.
On Friday, senior Congress leader and former general secretary of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) Anil Raja levelled a series of charges against Hussain citing list of properties amassed by the former forest minister.
Speaking to reporters in Shillong on Saturday, Gogoi said that Raja has to substantiate his allegation against Hussain. “If Raja proves his allegation, action should be taken against Hussain and if Raja can not substantiate his charges, action will be taken against him.”
Gogoi is in Shillong to take part in parties election campaign for the February 27 Assembly polls.
Gogoi also criticised Assam power minister Pallab Lochan Das for being detained by police at Gandacherra in Tripura’s Dhalai district, 112km from Shillong, on Friday for violating the election code of conduct.
The Assam minister allegedly stayed back after campaigning ended at 4pm. Election Commission guidelines say all political functionaries have to leave the constituency immediately after the campaign period is over.
Gogoi said that it proves that BJP is trying to win election with money power. Gogoi questioned why a minister is arrested for this kind of incident.
Former chief minister did not spare BJP and his former right hand man Himanta Biswa Sarma from his attack.
On his former ministerial colleague Himanta Biswa Sarma, the former chief minister said that the BJP earlier levelled huge corruption charges against Sarma, but “now the saffron party made him not only a very powerful minister in Assam but also gave him an authority to look after the party affairs of many Northeast states, including Tripura.”
“Earlier BJP accused me that I was protecting a corrupt man like Sarma, now who is protecting and patronising him,” Gogoi asked.
“Sarma was involved in Louis Berger bribery scandal, Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams. Himanta’s houses were raided by CBI. Now Gauhati High Court again asked CBI to probe the Louis Berger bribery scandal,” he stated.
According to Gogoi, Himanta has become approver in Saradha scam.
Attacking Himanta as opportunist, the former chief minister said that Himanta originally was not a Congress man. He was with AASU, AGP. “But he is master in poaching,” Gogoi further said.