Assam CM Sarma chides Congress for ‘blame’ over sexual harassment case

Congress has alleged vendetta over Assam Police action into charges of sexual harassment against the party’s youth wing chief BV Srinivas.

| Updated: 23 April, 2023 4:38 pm IST

New Delhi: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has hit back at allegations of vendetta from Congress leaders after a complaint was filed against the president of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) in Assam.

Responding to the allegations, Sarma insisted that the police were simply following the law, investigating a complaint made by former Assam Congress youth wing chief Angkita Dutta for sexual harassment.

He went on to call on the Congress to address the issue of safety for female workers within its own party, suggesting that it was not his responsibility to ensure that Congress provided a safe working environment for women.

The accusations stem from a complaint filed by Dutta, against IYC president Srinivas BV, accusing him of harassment and discrimination.

CM Sarma was responding to allegations made by Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala.

“The turncoat CM of Assam who is trying to outbid Amit Shah to his post has now become infamous for these antics to stay in news…We reject this propaganda completely. Sometimes he wants to arrest Pawan Khera, sometimes he wants to arrest BV Srinivas,” Surjewala said.

Former Assam Indian Youth Congress chief Angkita Dutta with its national head BV Srinivas.

He further said: “Perhaps it is to save the ignominy that Mr Modi was trying to arrest him once for Saradha Scam and Louis Berger Scam. That is why he defected to the BJP. Reject him, don’t pay any attention to him.”

Assam Police has issued a notice to Srinivas – who rose to fame by arranging medical oxygen, medicines and food during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic – asking him to join its investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment. According to reports, a team of Assam Police visited Karnataka in relation to the case.

Dutta has accused Srinivas of harassing her for six months, claiming that she had approached several senior party leaders including Rahul Gandhi for help, but no action had been taken. The allegations were followed by an expulsion notice from the All India Congress Committee, expelling Dutta from the party for six years for “anti-party activities.”

The situation has attracted attention from outside the Congress Party, with BJP’s IT cell head Amit Malaviya hitting out at Congress for its handling of the situation, stating that it was “Congress’s model of women empowerment.”

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