RJD chief Lalu Prasad today demanded a CBI probe into an alleged embezzlement of over Rs 600 crore of government funds by a Bhagalpur-based NGO. Senior Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar said the amount of fraudulent withdrawal of government funds has gone upto over Rs 600 crore so far in an investigation which was being carried out by the Economic Offence Unit (EOU). On August 10 Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh had said that the amount of government funds that were embezzled by the NGO was around Rs 302.70 crore which might rise further. Prasad told reporters that the figure of embezzeled funds had reached Rs 1,000 crore and claimed that the money had also gone out of the state besides being invested in real estate and other places.
“One can not deny the money laundering aspect. There is the involvement of banks also and hence a state government agency is not capable of carrying out the probe in a fair manner,” he claimed. “So, we demand a CBI probe into the scam. Everything will become clear if the CBI carries out probes… We will also request the CAG to do a special audit in this connection. The Enforcement Directorate can also probe it,” he said. He also demanded the dismissal of Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi from the government for his alleged links with the NGO’s founder. Sushil, who held portfolios of finance and commercial taxes for several years, had the responsibility of Finance Department without whose permission money cannot be transferred in any bank account, Prasad claimed. He said it was his duty to put a check on the financial irregularities.
Lalu alleged that both Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and deputy CM Sushil Modi had links with the NGO that siphoned off over Rs 1,000 crore of government funds. Showing a photograph to buttress his claim, the RJD chief claimed that Nitish was awarding the NGO’s founder secretary in it. Sushil and other BJP leaders such as Union minister Giriraj Singh, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari, former Union ministers Shahnawaz Hussain and other leaders were also seen in the photograph as they had close links with the NGO, he claimed. “Our party MLAs will also raise the issue in the upcoming Monsoon Session of state legislature (beginning August 21)…These funds have been transferred in violation of provisions of Bihar Treasury Code and Bihar Finance Rules and Sushil Modi has direct or indirect role in the embezzlement,” he alleged.
Taking a jibe at Nitish Kumar’s review meetings in various districts, the former Bihar CM asked, “Is it an example of zero tolerance for corruption. Nitish has destroyed the state in the name of development.” Countering the RJD chief’s charges, JD(U) spokesman and MLC Niraj Kumar said allegations could not be made merely on basis of photographs, rather they must be supported by facts. On Prasad’s demand for a CBI probe, Kumar claimed he has suddenly developed a kind of affection for the central agency against which he had been spewing venom. “The state police are capable of probing the matter. Let the facts come first and then he (Lalu) should react,” he added. Meanwhile, the SSP said three more FIRs were lodged in this connection yesterday. Three separate FIRs have been lodged for embezzlement of funds of District Board, District Nazarat and Cooperative Department.