OVER THREE weeks after Nitish Kumar broke the grand alliance in Bihar and joined hands with the BJP, the Congress on Wednesday dragged him into the Srijan scam. It said the involvement of the Chief Minister in the scam cannot be “denied” and said the probe should be monitored by the high court. It also demanded the resignation of Nitish as well as his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi to ensure a fair probe.
Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari said the scam took place during Modi’s tenure as Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister of Bihar. “How is it possible that such large amount of money kept going out and coming back into the system without any knowledge of Modi. Either he doesn’t know his job or all this happened under his eyes. His involvement in this cannot be completely ruled out neither can the involvement of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar be denied,” the party said in a statement.
Asked when the Congress learnt about the scam and whether it was aware about it when it was part of the government, Tewari said, “If the charge is that we are being opportunistic in terms of timing… I rebut that at the outset. That the implications or the gravity of the scam unfolded as the reports emerged and surfaced. It is not as if we were privy to it or cognizant of it and therefore are now choosing to raise it when Nitish Kumar has joined the NDA.”
\“The fact is that material kept bubbling to the surface and finally when the dots were connected, it emerged that this was possibly the most wanton loot of treasury in the past 70 years. And the kind of names which are now emerging….this requires a serious investigation that how come not only in once case, but in multiple cases, across multiple treasuries, in multiple districts you have this siphoning off taking place.” The Congress in a statement alleged Manorama Devi, who headed the NGO, is suspected to be well-connected with BJP and people close to Nitish.