Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, has asked Excise Minister Jamshed Ashraf to resign, after the latter accused him of covering up a “multi-crore scam” in his department.
“The charges are unfortunate, undignified, malicious and unbecoming of a minister,” Mr. Kumar said in a confidential letter to Mr. Ashraf. Mr. Kumar asked the minister to resign for allegedly breaching the office of oath and secrecy.
The Chief Minister noted that no irregularities were detected during inquiry into the allegations and rubbished the charges against the Chief Minister’s Secretariat officials.
Mr. Kumar said there was nothing to hide and he was not a man who could be purchased. “My political career has remained clean and will remain clean.”
In a reply to Mr. Ashraf’s letter dated January 14, Mr. Kumar charged the minister with stalling some of the “progressive measures” for arresting illegal sale of liquor and said many such discrepancies has been noticed in the detailed probe into the allegations conducted by the chief secretary.
Mr. Ashraf had in September 2009 and on January 14 handed over letters to Mr. Kumar seeking his intervention to unearth a “possible big scam” involving his Secretariat.
In the letter he alleged that irregularities were being committed in connivance with officers in the CM’s Secretariat and the excise department resulting in revenue loss to the tune of over Rs 500 crore.