Cong leaders demand resignation of chief minister
GN Bureau | July 8, 2015
The Madhya Pradesh high court bench at Jabalpur will decide today (July 8) on the state government’s request for a CBI investigation into the multi-crore Vyapam recruitment scam.
In its appeal, made immediately after chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s aanouncement on Tuesday, the state government says that while a Special Task Force monitored by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) is doing a good job, it wants a CBI investigation to clear the air.
Chouhan on Wednesday also ruled out his resignation and said that he enjoyed full support of his party leadership and colleagues. Taking to a news channel, Chouhan said, ''I am proud of the fair probe and there is no question of my resigning."
On the other hand, the Congress stuck to its demand for Chouhan's resignation, saying his departure was important for a neutral probe. It said Chouhan, who has been in power in Madhya Pradesh for over a decade, was trying to "mislead" the people by requesting the high court for a probe by the CBI into the scam.
"We remain firm on our demand for a supreme court-monitored probe," Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said. "If we want a neutral probe, then the Chief Minister should resign. We want to clarify that if there has to be transparency, then he should not object to a supreme court-monitored probe," the Congress MP from the state said.
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who has been chief minister of MP, said that apart from the Vyapam recruitment scam, the probe into the deaths of people connected with the issue should also be handed over to the CBI.
In its response, the BJP called the Congress confused. "I think the Congress is confused under the leadership of (party vice president) Rahul Gandhi. They should decide what they want," BJP national secretary Siddhartha Nath Singh told media persons in Kolkata.
"If they want a CBI probe, the chief minister has already requested it. And so far as the court-monitored probe is concerned, the high court monitored SIT is already investigating the matter," he said.
Meanwhile, Chouhan claims that he did not discuss his decision to go for a CBI inquiry with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is now on a visit to Central Asia. He refuted the opposition's "baseless allegations" against him.
Interestingly, Chouhan's home minister and old rival in the party, Babulal Gaur said the Chief Minister, "never consulted me....even though I am the Home Minister" before announcing that the CBI should investigate the Vyapam scam. "I may have advised him to do this earlier," he said.
The Vyapam scam hinges on allegations of kickbacks to top politicians and bureaucrats of Madhya Pradesh in a corrupt system where imposters or fake candidates took qualifying exams for admissions to state-run colleges and government jobs instead of the real candidates.
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