BJP to move EC over Gogoi’s admission of tea industry poll funds


Guwahati : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday threatened to move the Election Commission against Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for his admission that he had taken money from the tea industry for the Congress party’s election campaign.

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“It is a real shame on the part of the chief minister to have taken money from tea planters at a time when tea garden workers are having a hell of a time in Assam. We shall move the Election Commission against the chief minister’s act,” Harendra Pratap, who oversees the BJP’s affairs in the Northeast, told journalists here.

The chief minister Wednesday told journalists that he was in Kolkata earlier this week and had received money for the party’s poll campaign.

“Yes, I admit I have received money by cheque for the elections. I think there is no harm in that…why are the opposition parties so perturbed. If they (opposition) have not taken from others, how can they run the campaign…do they have their own money?” Gogoi said.

“Everybody needs money for the elections and we also did it and I am telling you we have received the money by cheque,” he added.

The BJP leader also accused Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma of having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

“In the affidavit filed by him during the 2006 elections, Sarma’s income was less than his wife’s. We want to know the source of the income of Sarma’s wife,” Pratap said.

Claiming that the combine of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the BJP would be able to rout the Congress in Assam, Pratap said people were looking for a change and an end to the misrule and corruption of the ruling party in the state.

“There is a wave against the Congress and people are looking forward to a change and that change can be provided by the BJP at the centre,” the BJP leader said.

The AGP and the BJP have stitched a seat sharing deal in Assam. Under this, the BJP would contest in eight of the 14 Lok Sabha seats, while the AGP would fight in six seats.

The two parties Thursday met for the first time in Guwahati at the AGP headquarters with controversial BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal also present in the meet.

“It is true I helped the AGP and the BJP to come together in the elections,” Mittal said.

He, however, denied any rift in the party over senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley’s refusal to attend important party meetings following Mittal’s appointed as election co-convenor for Assam and the Northeast.