Bihar deputy CM denies links to cousin amid multibillion rupee probe

Patna: Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi was forced to issue repeated clarifications in the media on Friday, a day after Income Tax investigators raided the residence of his cousin in Patna.

The tax officials raided the residence of Rekha Modi, a cousin to the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, after her name surfaced during the course of investigations into a multibillion scam involving the alleged transfer of large sums of government funds to the account of a Non-Governmental Organsiation (NGO).

It is alleged the money was siphoned in connivance with officials holding key positions.

Rekha is suspected of being one of the key beneficiaries of the government funds fraudulently transferred to the bank accounts of the NGO — Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti — between 2008 and 2017.

She is also accused of receiving diamond jewellery worth over Rs14 million (Dh713,040) from the perpetrators of the fraud.

As the raids brought embarrassment to Sushil Kumar Modi, the deputy CM was issuing explanations in the media claiming he had strained relations with his cousin and had not spoken to her over the past 10 years.

“She is one of my distant relatives, with whom I don’t enjoy good relations. She also filed a case of domestic violence against me although I was acquitted by the court. I have no idea where she stays or in what business she is involved,” Kumar Modi told journalists for the second time on Friday through his twitter handle.

He added his sister also fought against the official BJP candidate in 2010 and had been sent to jail for tearing apart the uniform of the then Patna’s deputy superintendent of police Sheela Irani.

“I have no relations with my sister,” he insisted.

Kumar Modi went into explanation mode soon after the main opposition, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) launched a blistering attack on the deputy CM, following the raids on his sister’s residence.

“The raid on the residence of Sushil Modi is just eyewash. In fact, it is aimed at protecting the real culprit,” Bihar opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav has alleged adding the raids were part of the move to shield the deputy chief minister.

“Sushil Modi is the real culprit in the scam. It was during his tenure as Bihar’s finance minister that government funds worth Rs25 billion were stolen. It was Modi who got the government money transferred to his sister’s account,” he alleged.

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