Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today hit back at BJP MP Rameswar Teli’s allegation that Sahitya Akademi awardees returning their prizes were paid heftily by the Congress, terming the claims as “baseless, unfortunate and disrespectful”.
In an official statement, Gogoi said, “Such an allegation is an insult to the fraternity of journalists and intelligentsia in our society.”
Teli while making the claims at a press conference at Dibrugarh was apparently referring to senior journalist Homen Borgohain’s decision to return his Akademi award.
Gogoi’s statement condemning the MP’s reference to Borghain said, “The person who has all along been serving society by being an honest journalist and whose integrity is beyond doubt, such a statement is a slur against his towering personality who himself is an institution in journalism.”
Borgohain had returned his award in protest against growing intolerance in the country after the Dadri incident took place.
Teli during his Dibrugarh press conference claimed that writers, artistes, historians and scientists, who returned their national prizes were “paid” by the Congress to do so.
He alleged that those returning their national awards “were paid Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh each by the Congress”.