Patna, Aug 17 (IANS) Bihar's Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav on Thursday demanded a CBI probe into the Rs 1,000 crore Srijan scam, in which government funds were transferred to private accounts between 2005 and 2013 when BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi was the Finance Minister.
"It is high time that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar recommend a CBI probe into Srijan scam as he has repeatedly been claiming zero tolerance against corruption," said Tejashwi Yadav, who is in Bhagalpur in connection with his ongoing Janadesh Apman Yatra.
His father and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad also reiterated his demands for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe on Thursday.
Tejashwi Yadav also said he has not been allowed to hold a meeting in Bhagalpur since Wednesday as the "government is afraid" that he will expose Srijan scam and the leaders behind it.
He said Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi was the Finance minister when "crores were looted from people. None but Modi is responsible for it".
Lalu Prasad, who is appearing before a CBI court in Ranchi in connection with fodder scam, said: "Nitish Kumar should sack Modi immediately if he has zero tolerance against corruption, and arrest him. There are solid evidences of Modi's involvement in the scam."
Claiming that Sushil Kumar Modi is not the only senior BJP leader involved in the scam, he also alleged that other party leaders including MP Ashwani Kumar Choubey, Manoj Tiwari and former Union Minister Shahnawaz Hussain are also implicated.
Urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take cognizance of the scam and order a CBI probe, he said the state government agency, probing the scam, is not reliable as Sushil Kumar Modi is involved in it.
In Patna, senior RJD leader and former Minister Jagda Nand Singh said the party will launch an agitation if Nitish Kumar failed to recommend a CBI probe.
"The state government should recommend a CBI probe within a week and RJD will not allow Nitish Kumar to save and protect some senior BJP leaders, including Modi, involved in it," he said.
A public interest litigation was also filed in the Patna High Court on Wednesday by advocate Manibhusan Pratap, seeking a CBI probe into the scam.
After days of investigation, a Special Investigation Team said crores were diverted from the bank accounts of different departments, including Mukhyamantri Shahari Vikas Yojna in Bhagalpur district, with the help of NGO Srijan Sahayog Mahila Vikas Samiti.
So far, eight people have been arrested, including Prem Kumar, an aide of the Bhagalpur District Magistrate, in connection with the scam.
SIT officials said an FIR was lodged against board members of the NGO and officials of Indian Bank in connection with fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 10.26 crore fund of the Mukhyamantri Shahari Vikas Yojana.
Two more FIRs were lodged in connection with fraudulent withdrawal of funds of the Land Acquisition Department.