Ranchi: Along with Chief Secretary Rajbala Verma, Raghubar Das government seems to be convincing the opposition and people of Jharkhand that the chief secretary has nothing to do in the Fodder Scam case, similar to the one in which former Chief Minister and Rastriya Janta Dal (RJD) chief is serving a term of three-and-half-year jail.
The 1983 batch officer was the District Magistrate of Chaibasa in 1990-91, during which fraudulent withdrawals had been made from the Chaibasa treasury, a similar case for which former Chief Minister Lalu Prasad is in jail. When CBI took up the fodder scam case (RC 50A/96), it sent several letters to Rajbala, to which she never replied. She has also not replied to several notices served to her by Jharkhand Chief Secretaries between the years 2003 and 2014. With all these controversies around her, Rajabala is going to retire in February end, this year.
With Lalu Prasad being put behind the bars, this matter is not just being escalated by the opposition parties but also by Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)’s senior leader Saryu Roy. He has even written a letter to Raghubar Das, asking the Jharkhand Chief Minister to start a departmental proceeding against the Rajabala.
But despite the opposition raising the issue inside the State Assembly, the CM is yet to take any action against the chief secretary. However, he had issued a show cause order against Rajbala a fortnight back. But that was all Raghubar Das has done so far in the matter.
“We will keep demanding for her removal from the post of chief secretary. An inquiry into accumulation of disproportionate properties should also be initiated against her,” stressed Ajoy Kumar, President of Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee (JPCC) while talking to eNewsroom.
The chief secretary in her explanation letter claims that she had no idea of how the fraudulent withdrawals took place from the Chaibasa treasury. She maintains that she did not check the diaries on a daily basis and has alleged that the then treasury officer had kept her in the dark.
However, former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi has made some serious allegations against the chief secretary and her role in the fodder scam and is not ready to buy her argument. He has not only demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry against Rajbala Verma but has also alleged that she has conspired against Lalu Prasad Yadav.
“A District Magistrate (DM) also remains the head of treasury. Every month withdrawals get made after getting DM’s signature. So how on earth, being Chaibasa’s DM for one and half year, she did not see that fraud was happening? It means, she did it in a planned way. In other words, she was getting the fraudulent withdrawal being made by others,” Babulal Marandi told eNewsroom.
Marandi also sheds light on Lalu Prasad and Rajbala’s ‘good’ relations.
“Some people have claimed that when Lalu Prasad Yadav was going to the jail for the first time, she was crying. She was crying because she was aware that she will be meeting with a similar fate. And that is why she did not reply to 23 letters sent to her from different government between the year 2003 to 2014,” JVM chief said.
He then asked, “But as a government what is Raghubar Das doing? Will it not send a wrong message to junior employees who will also not reply to notices?”
Marandi also mentioned that earlier officials have been suspended and even dismissed on failing to respond to three consecutive notices.
On the other hand, Roy, who has written a letter to the chief minister, is also not satisfied with Rajbala’s reply and stands on his demand of initiating a departmental proceeding against her.
During the assembly session on Friday, CM Das has told the house that he has yet to go through the reply and an appropriate action will be taken. He further mentioned that there is no corruption charge on the chief secretary, but certain alleged lapses.