Himanta Biswa Sarma addresses the news conference in Guwahati on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos
Guwahati, Feb. 17: Assam BJP leader and former health and education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today filed his second civil defamation case against chief minister Tarun Gogoi for claiming he was in touch with some central Congress leaders to ensure his return to the party.
Senior advocate Devajit Saikia filed the case in the court of the Kamrup (metro) civil judge no. 3, J. Singh, yesterday on behalf of Sarma. Till a couple of years ago, Sarma was Gogoi's most trusted lieutenant but quit the Congress to join the BJP in August last year after dissidents led by him failed to unseat Gogoi.
Saikia was assisted by lawyers P. Nayak and Rajib Borpujari.
After perusing the documents related to the case, the judge issued a notice today asking Gogoi to make his stand clear regarding the matter before March 2, which has been fixed as the next date of hearing in the case.
Saikia said his client (Sarma) has sought a compensation of Rs 100 crore from Gogoi by accusing him of "tarnishing his image" by levelling false allegations against him during a news conference in Dispur on February 11.
Gogoi had told reporters that Sarma was in touch with a few senior Congress leaders in Delhi in a bid to pave his return to the party. The chief minister had also said that Sarma owns three satellite TV channels through which he was broadcasting false news and accused him of betraying AASU and other organisations.
Saikia said they told the court today that all allegations levelled by Gogoi were false propaganda and figments of his imagination, aimed at damaging Sarma's reputation before BJP leaders and workers as well as the people.
"Gogoi made a deliberate attempt to project Sarma as a businessman instead of a political leader in order to damage his reputation," he said.
The court asked Gogoi to make his submissions either in person or through his advocate.
This is the second defamation case filed by Sarma against the chief minister.
Sarma had filed another Rs 100-crore defamation suit against Gogoi in December last year daring him to prove or at least provide detailed information about claims of any criminal case against him.
Gogoi appeared before the court in person on January 18 in connection with the case.