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Lalu demands CBI probe into Bihar govt funds transfer scam; blames Sushil Modi

The RJD chief said the scam was worth Rs 1,000 crore and funds withdrawn clandestinely from government accounts by NGO Srijan, since 2005, were used in real estate, businesses and ‘for money laundering’.

india Updated: Aug 12, 2017 18:35 IST
Anirban Guha Roy
Anirban Guha Roy
Hindustan Times, Patna
RJD chief Lalu,Bihar scam,Fraudulent funds transfer
RJD chief Lalu Prasad claimed politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats were involved in Bihar’s fund transfer scam. (File photo)

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad, on Saturday, demanded a CBI probe into the fraudulent transfer of public funds, amounting allegedly to over Rs 350 crore, by the last count, into the account of an NGO, Srijan Sahayog Mahila Vikas Samiti in Bhagalpur district of south eastern Bihar.

Claiming the involvement of top politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats in the scam, Prasad told reporters only an independent probe by the premier investigating agency would only unravel the magnitude of the scam.

“This scam is worth Rs 1,000 crore and funds withdrawn clandestinely from government accounts by Srijan since 2005 was used in real estate, businesses and for money laundering. A CBI probe is imperative as the tentacles of the scam are spread outside the state and even abroad,” Prasad said.

He also dared CM Nitish Kumar to order a probe by the premier agency to exhibit his commitment towards his ‘zero tolerance policy on corruption’. “The probe ordered into the scam by a police special investigation team is intended to save the big fish”, he alleged.

Prasad said there was a need to probe the involvement of BJP leaders, particular deputy CM and finance minister Sushil Kumar Modi, union minister Giriraj Singh, ex-MP Syed Shahnawaz Hussain and BJP’s Delhi unit president Manoj Tiwary in the scam.

He sought to make his point by exhibiting photos showing these BJP leaders sharing dais with Srijan’s promoter Manorama Devi.

Dubbing Sushil Modi as ‘Rohu’ (big fish) of the scam, Prasad called for the BJP leader’s immediate dismissed from the cabinet, alleging the latter had failed to check the withdrawals despite being finance minister of Bihar (from November 2005 to June 2013) and returning to the post last month.

“If I am facing fodder scam cases on the charge that I failed to check the (animal husbandry department) treasury withdrawals as a finance minister in 1990s, Modi should also face cases on similar grounds,” said Prasad, who was at the receiving end of Modi’s revelations in recent months about allegedly benami property holdings of his family members.

The RJD chief highlighted that the RBI had ordered a probe into the siphoning of funds by Srijan in 2013, wondering why tangible action was not taken in the matter. He also claimed bureaucrats close to chief minister Nitish Kumar were under a cloud following the surfacing of the scam.

“I will approach the CBI and also demand a special audit of public funds by the AG,” he said.

First Published: Aug 12, 2017 18:35 IST