Photo Courtesy: IANS

Guwahati, June 6: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has claimed that his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal had intended to buy PPE kits from “anywhere without tender in 2020”.

The Assam Chief Minister on Sunday tweeted: “Delhi CM suo moto offered to buy PPE kits from anywhere without tender. Why? Does his Deputy CM think the CM is corrupt as he asked someone to arrange PPE kits from somewhere immediately, and said that Delhi Govt will buy them ? No reference to any tender etc.”

Sarma tagged a tweet of April 6, 2020 by Delhi Chief Minister in which he requested BJP Lok Sabha Member Gautam Gambhir to arrange for PPE kits “from somewhere immediately” after the former cricketer had promised Rs one crore from his MP LAD fund for procurement of medical equipment.

Earlier on Saturday, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister had levelled an allegation of corruption against Sarma, accusing the latter of awarding PPE kit contracts to his kin during the Covid emergency.

Referring to a media report, Sisodia said that while the Assam government procured PPE kits for Rs 600 a piece from other companies, Sarma gave urgent supply orders to the firms of his wife Riniki Bhuyan Sharma and son’s business partners for Rs 990 a piece, taking advantage of the emergency situation.

Sarma later hit back at Sisodia, threatening to file a criminal defamation suit against him. “Stop sermonising and I will see you soon in Guwahati as you will face criminal defamation,” Sarma tweeted.

The Assam government on Saturday strongly denied the allegations of irregularity in supply of PPE kits and sanitisers and that Sarma’s family was involved in the reported malpractice.

In another tweet, Sarma on Saturday said: “At a time when the entire country was facing the worst pandemic in over 100 years, Assam hardly had any PPE kits. My wife took the courage of coming forward and donating around 1,500 free of cost to the govt to save lives. She didn’t take a single penny.”

The opposition Congress, Trinamool Congress, Raijor Dal and Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and other political parties have been demanding a Supreme Court monitored probe or by the central agencies into the matter.

Assam’s Information and Public Relations Minister Pijush Hazarika, who is also the state government’s spokesman, said there was no irregularity in the supply of PPE kits and no member of Sarma’s family was involved.

Hazarika said that considering the emergency situation, orders for supply of PPE kits were placed with 35 firms and for supply of sanitisers, orders were placed to nine firms.

A supply order of only Rs 85 lakh was given to the firm referred to by the media portals, the minister said.

Sarma, now the Chief Minister, was the Health and Family Welfare Minister in 2020 in the previous Assam government headed by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who is now a Union minister.

Source: IANS