Opposition leaders and members of Bihar's ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) Saturday demanded Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi's resignation after a special vigilance court ordered a probe into his role in alleged irregularities in the purchase of medicines for cattle worth Rs.8 crore.
Special Vigilance Judge A.K. Saran Friday ordered Patna's Superintendent of Police (vigilance) to investigate allegations of irregularities in the purchase of veterinary drugs worth Rs.8 crore by Dec 21.
The court passed the order on a complaint filed by senior lawyer Sudhir Ojha, who alleged irregularities in purchase of medicines in January 2008 when Modi, a member of JD-U's alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had additional charge of the animal resources ministry.
JD-U leader Kanchan Bala said Modi should resign on moral grounds to protect Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's aim of leading a corruption-free government.
"As a woman leader of JD-U, I demand Modi's resignation after the special vigilance court ordered a probe into his role in irregularities in the purchase of medicines for cattle," Bala said.
"Modi has become a liability for the good governance of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, which is evident by the impartial inquiry of the vigilance court that has ordered a probe against him," Bala told IANS.
Another senior JD-U leader, who requested anonymity, said Nitish Kumar should remove Modi.
"Modi has lost face...like former chief ministers Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra, who were accused in the fodder scam," the JD-U leader said.
Main opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) state president Abdul Bari Siddiqui also demanded that Modi step down.
"Now it is for Nitish Kumar to decide to continue with Modi or not because he promotes corruption free image of his government," Siddiqui said.
Twelve people, including Modi, face charges of irregularities in the purchase of the medicines.
Ojha, in his complaint petition, had alleged that Modi had sanctioned Rs.8 crore for a special drive for treatment of cattle in January 2008, but the whole amount "went waste" due to alleged irregularities.
He claimed that veterinary doctors across the state had also raised certain objections to the purchase.