RJD president Lalu Prasad on Sunday demanded the resignation of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi, saying the state government had not taken any action on the “mega scam”, involving ‘Srijan’, a Bhagalpur-based NGO. The ruling JD(U), however, said the government had recommended a CBI probe into the issue following Prasad’s demand and the RJD chief should now be patient.
Prasad told a press conference, “I was hearing Kumar’s speech at his party’s national council meeting on Saturday. He claimed that it was he who exposed the scam and ordered a probe. “But, the fact is that Kumar knew about the NGO’s scam for a long time. He sat over the probe and did not take any action.”
He also alleged that it was a “mega scam”, in which over Rs 15,000 crore of government money were looted.
On Kumar handing over the probe into the matter to the CBI, Prasad alleged that the JD(U) chief was “trying to befool the people” as there was an RBI circular, as per which any financial irregularity involving an amount of above Rs 30 crore would have to be investigated by the central probe agency.
He also claimed that the chief minister had not handed over the probe to the CBI of his own volition, as he had come to know that the Centre and the probe agency had got the information through the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that “Kumar is involved in it (scam)”.
“Only out of this fear (of getting implicated in the scam), Kumar surrendered before the BJP within two hours,” Prasad said without elaborating further.
The former Bihar chief minister alleged that Kumar did not act after a chartered accountant, Sanjit Kumar, wrote to him about the “scam” in 2013 or even after the RBI asked him in the same year to investigate it. Instead, the chief minister “protected the scamsters”, he alleged.
“Why did the state government not make public the report prepared on the direction of the district magistrate in 2013? The DM was later transferred,” Prasad said.
Holding Kumar and Sushil Modi responsible for the “scam”, the RJD chief demanded their resignation and said his party would continue with its movement till the two put in their papers.
After its August 27 rally at Patna, the RJD would submit documents related to the “scam” to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and CBI and also request the Supreme Court to monitor the probe through a special investigation team (SIT), he said.
Reacting to the RJD chief’s allegations, JD(U) spokesman and MLC Niraj Kumar said, “It was Lalu Prasad who had demanded a CBI probe into the matter and the state government has recommended it. He should have patience now.”
He also wondered why had Prasad “suddenly developed an affection” for the CBI, against which he had been spewing venom.
On the RJD chief’s demand for a Supreme Court-monitored probe, the JD(U) leader said he was free to approach the court.
The cases lodged in connection with the NGO’s alleged swindling of public money were being investigated by the Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of the Bihar police. The chief minister recommended a CBI probe into the matter on August 17.
The state police have issued a lookout notice against the NGO’s secretary, Priya Kumar, and her husband Amit Kumar.