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Srijan scam: Congress seeks HC-monitored probe, Bihar CM's resignation (Lead)

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) The Congress on Wednesday demanded a high court-monitored investigation into the Srijan scam in Bihar and also said that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi should resign for a fair probe.

The party also sought a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi if it was true that some ministers linked with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were involved in the scam.

Srijan scam is about transfer of government funds to an NGO Srijan Mahila Sahyog Samiti in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district. The NGO used to earn a high rate of interest on the government funds while keeping the principal amount intact.

“It is estimated to be well over Rs 1,000 crore,” said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.

The party also asked if Kumar was blackmailed into getting back to BJP. “Was he threatened that if he doesn’t get back with BJP, his ‘Mr Clean’ image will be exposed,” asked Tewari.

The Congress further alleged that the scam happened during Sushil Kumar Modi’s tenure as Finance Minister of Bihar. “How is it possible that such a large amount of money kept going out and coming back into the system without any knowledge of Modi?”

“His (Modi) involvement in this can’t be completely ruled out neither can the involvement of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar be denied,” said another Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar.

The leader said that Srijan was headed by Manorama Devi and it was suspected that she was well connected within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and people close to Nitish Kumar.

“The party demands a fair probe in the entire matter. The way CBI is being misused by the BJP government (at the Centre), only a high court-monitored investigation can bring the truth out in the case,” the Congress spokesperson said.

He said: “For any fair probe to happen, Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi must resign from their post. The charges are being made directly against them while they continue to hold top two posts in the Bihar government.”

“Mastermind of the scam Bipin Sharma is Vice President of Kisan Morcha of BJP. Another mastermind Mahesh Mandal is a close associate of Nitish Kumar,” he added.

“Those who made money in the scam are building a shopping mall in Bhagalpur on a land of BJP MP from Godda Nishikant Dubey,” Ajoy said.

Kumar also referred to the mysterious death of Mahesh Mandal. “We would want the Supreme Court to probe if there is ‘an invisible hand’ involved in the deaths. Are the Vyapam and the Srijan deaths connected in any manner?”

“We demand that the Supreme Court takes cognisance of the Vyapam disappearances, the Vyapam deaths, the Srijan deaths and the deaths which have occurred in various such cases,” he added.

Asked whether Srijan was a determining factor and Nitish Kumar was arm-twisted by BJP into joining NDA, Tewari aid: “It is a legitimate question that he (Kumar) needs to answer whether Srijan was the factor that triggered his decision to join the NDA.”

“Did the unfolding implications of the Srijan scam have a material bearing on his decision to join NDA,” asked Tewari.

Post Source: Ians feed

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