RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav during a press conference in Patna on Aug 12, 2017. (Photo: IANS)
Patna, Aug 12 (IANS) RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Saturday targetted BJP leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi over a Rs 1,000 crore scam, and demanded that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar sack him and get him arrested for "direct involvement" in the scam.
A day after he demanded a CBI probe into the scam involving Modi and an NGO, where funds were allegedly illegally transferred to private accounts between 2005 and 2010, Lalu Prasad said: "Nitish Kumar should sack Modi from his ministry immediately if, like he says, he has zero tolerance against corruption. He should lodge an FIR against Modi and have him arrested. There is solid evidence of Modi's involvement in the scam when he was Bihar Finance Minister."
Lalu Prasad threatened that his Rashtriya Janata Dal will not allow functioning of the monsoon session of the Bihar Assembly beginning in the third week of August if Modi is not sacked.
Lalu Prasad said Modi is not the only senor BJP leader involved in this scam, which he said was "bigger than the fodder scam" that surfaced in the mid 90s. "Modi and other BJP leaders, including BJP MP Ashwani Kumar Choubey, Manoj Tiwari and former Union Minister Shahnawaz Hussain, are involved in the scam."
"This scam happened in the full knowledge of Modi, who was Bihar Finance Minister from 2005 till 2013 June. As a Finance Minister Modi is responsible for the scam," Lalu Prasad said.
The RJD leader recalled that charges against him in the fodder scam are that he was Finance Minister at the time and was thus responsible for the fodder scam.
He said that Modi has again been made Bihar Finance Minister by Nitish Kumar after the latter junked the Grand Alliance of JD-U, RJD and Congress, and formed government with the BJP.
Lalu Prasad said he does not have faith in the ongoing probe into the scam by the state agency. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take cognizance of the scam and order a CBI probe into it because a state government agency is not reliable to investigate as Sushil Kumar Modi is involved in it," he reiterated.
After three days of investigations, a Special Investigation Team of Bihar Police's Economic Offence Unit said that at least Rs 700 crore was diverted from the bank accounts of different departments, including Mukhyamantri Shahari Vikas Yojna, in Bhagalpur district.
"Now it has crossed Rs 700 crore and it may increase in coming days with the probe still on," an official of the SIT said.
So far, seven people have been arrested -- including Prem Kumar, PA of Bhagalpur District Magistrate, on Friday in connection with the scam in the last three days.
SIT officials said an FIR was lodged on Tuesday evening at Tilkamanjhi police station in connection with fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 10.26 crore fund of the Mukhyamantri Shahari Vikas Yojana, against board members of Srijan Sahayog Mahila Vikas Samiti, a Sabour-based NGO and officials of Indian Bank.
Two more FIRs were lodged on Wednesday in connection with fraudulent withdrawal of funds of the land acquisition department.