The Sarma Family
Riniki Bhuyan Sarma holds majority stake in Pride East Entertainments Private Limited- the company that broadcasts News Live, a 24x7 Assamese news television channel. The family stakeholders include Riniki Bhuyan Sharma herself, her mother-in-law Mrinalini Devi and her father-in-law, Kailash Sharma.
Riniki Bhuyan Sharma is the wife of former Congressman, and a current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Minister in the Assam state cabinet – Himanta Biswa Sarma. Riniki is a graduate from Cotton College, Guwahati. She is a lawyer by profession, and is a member of Bar Council of India. She launched Pride East Entertainments Private Limited and eventually launched News Live, followed by North East Live – two news channels that she hopes will address the lack of representation of news from North Eastern region, in the mainstream Indian media. She works on the thought – “Daaror Batori Dare Jabo” (Every news must reach the people) and gets the channels to feature news stories from every nook and corner of the region.
Riniki Bhuyani Sharma has been in the crosshairs of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a financial scam, called the Saradha scam and was questioned in 2015 for the money invested in her channel, by one of the main accussed in the scam.
Her mother-in-law, Mrinalini Devi and father-in-law, Kailash Sharma also hold minor stake in the company.
Ranjit Bhattacharyya and Bhaskar Sarma appear to be members of the same family and through their shares the Sarma family has complete control over Pride East Entertainments Private Limited.
As per the MGT-7 filings of Pride East Entertainments Private Limited, Ranjit Bhattacharyya is listed among the Hindu undivided family along with Mrinalini Devi and Kailash Nath Sarma, and Bhaskar Sarma is listed along with Riniki Bhuyan Sarma and Bhuyan Atanu – hence it can be inferred that they are part of the Sarma family.
Family & Friends
Affiliated Interests Family Members Friends
currently the Minister of Finance, Health & Family Welfare, Public Works Department (PWD), Transformation & Development, Government of Assam, India and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Convener, North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) is the husband of the founder, Riniki Bhuyan Sharma. He is also the Nominee Director of Assam Cancer Care Foundation.
is the Director of Pride East Entertainments Private Limited and she holds 18.29% share of the company. Her husband, Kailash Sharma holds 5.98% share of the company. She is the mother of Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Data regarding ownership structure is collected from Ministry of Corporate Affairs website. The company was written to, by email on the 18th March 2019 and by courier on the 22nd March 2019, seeking clarification and confirmation of data collected for the channel and the company. There has been no response from the company. Mrs Riniki Sarma’s name is spelled as ‘Sharma’ in various sources and that caused confusion as some members of the family including, Bhaskar Sarma and Kailash Nath Sarma were spelled as ‘Sharma’ in different sources. The website of the Newslive spells the name as ‘Sharma’, the document with the shareholders also uses the ‘Sharma’ spelling, however she is registered at the Ministry of Corporate Affairs as Sarma.