As India battled the Covid pandemic in 2020, then Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma gave contracts to companies of his wife and son’s business partners to supply PPE kits above market rates, AAP leader Manish Sisodia alleged on June 4 citing media reports.
At a press conference, he claimed that while the Assam Government procured PPE kits for ₹600 a piece from other companies, Mr. Sarma gave urgent supply orders to the firms of his wife and son’s business partners for ₹990 a piece “taking advantage of the COVID-19 emergency”.
The firm belonging to Mr. Sarma’s wife does not even deal in medical equipment, he alleged.
“While the contract given to the firm of Sarma’s wife was cancelled as the company could not supply PPE kits, another supply order was given to the firm belonging to the business partners of his son at a rate of ₹1,680 per kit,” Mr. Sisodia said citing the media report.
He said two websites had collaborated on the story and published it two days ago.
The AAP leader asked why the members of the BJP were silent on corruption by a Chief Minister of a State ruled by the saffron party.
“They talk of corruption and level baseless allegations against members of opposition parties. I want to probe their understanding of corruption… want to ask them if they consider this [Assam case] corruption or not,” Mr. Sisodia added.
He said the Enforcement Directorate arrested Satyendar Jain on “bogus” charges of corruption and the Centre told the court on Friday that he is “not an accused”.
The ED had arrested Mr. Jain on May 30 in a money laundering case after hours of questioning. The agency has alleged that the AAP leader and his wife had amassed disproportionate wealth worth ₹1.47 crore between February 2015 and May 2017, more than double their known sources of income.