Millennium Post

Corruption grips MP politics

The war of words between the BJP and Congress in Madhya Pradesh has already touched a new high in so far as the Congress was, till now, levelling charges against ministers, political functionaries of the BJP and officers. But now the Congress has trained its guns at Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and his wife Sadhna Singh.

K K Mishra, chief Congress spokesperson has claimed that he had solid evidence to prove direct involvement of Shivraj Singh and his wife in scams connected with recruitments in various departments by the State Professional Exam Board (Vyapam).

It may be mentioned here that the Vyapam conducts tests for recruitment to non-gazetted posts in various government departments. It also conducts tests for admissions in the medical and engineering colleges and colleges of Dentistry. The Vyapam has been conducting recruitment examinations for 53 state departments. So far, it has organised 81 such exams, in which more than one crore candidates appeared and four lakh were recruited by the state. 

Hundreds of cases have been identified by the Special Task Force of the MP police, in which unqualified persons got admissions in medical colleges, including in post-graduate courses and managed to secure jobs in various departments by manipulating results. In the process, crores of rupees changed hands. Many bigwigs, including ministers have been benefitted by this scam. More than 300 persons have been found guilty of the malpractices. The most prominent among them is Laxmikant Sharma, who was a powerful minister in the Chauhan cabinet, holding prestigious departments like Higher Education, Technical Education, Public Relations and Culture. For some time he also held department of mines. He is presently under arrest.   

The issue took an explosive turn when the Congress made direct allegations against Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, claiming his involvement in the scam. Besides the Chief Minister, the Congress also made similar allegations against Union Minister Uma Bharati and Kailash Vijayvargiya, another powerful state Minister. Surprisingly, the list also includes RSS stalwart Suresh Soni.
Mishra released a bunch of papers to the media to substantiate the party’s charge that top political leaders of the BJP and the RSS were hand-in-gloves with Vyapam officials, who carried out, perhaps, the biggest educational and recruitment scam in the country. Armed with papers, Mishra charged that the aforementioned BJP leaders were involved in the scam. Mishra also released a list of SMSs, which he claimed were sent by different people to the main accused in the PEB scam Pankaj Trivedi and Nitin Mahendra. In some SMSs, there is reference allegedly to urban administration minister Kailash Vijayvargiya. Former BJP state spokesperson Vijesh Lunawat is also linked to a couple of SMSs. The Congress list also refers also to Sanjay Chauhan, a cousin of the CM.

The Congress spokesperson demanded that call details of CM’s secretary S K Mishra and his location at the time of those calls to Pankaj Trivedi be made public. ‘This will make clear the involvement of CM house in the scam,’ he claimed. Alleging that STF was not being allowed to investigate the scam fairly by the state government, Mishra said that the Congress demands that the investigation of the mega scam should be handed over to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The allegation made by the Congress caused a storm in the ruling party. Immediately after Mishra’s press conference Narottam Mishra, a senior minister issued a statement vehemently denying the allegations. He threatened that the state government would file a defamation case against K K Mishra for his irresponsible utterances if he did not apologise.

K K Mishra, in his press conference, issued a list of newly recruited Transport constables. Mishra claimed that 19 of them belonged to Gondia in Maharashtra, which happens to be the hometown of chief minister’s wife. He also alleged that they got the job on the specific recommendation of Sadhna Singh. Allegations against his wife made the Chief Minister livid and he directed the government to file a case of defamation against Mishra.

Not only Narottam Mishra, chief minister himself denied the allegation against himself and his wife. Despite the threat held out by the chief minister to initiate contempt proceedings, the Congress continued its attack. Satyadev Katare, leader of the opposition made another sensational revelation when he told the pressmen that chief minister pressurised State Public Service Commission to select his niece for the post of Deputy Collector. Katare also produced documentary evidence to substantiate his allegation. A case of defamation was filed in a Bhopal Court. Surprisingly the case was filed by the government. On this, Mishra pointed out that the fact that case was filed by the government and not by the chief minister showed that Shivraj Singh Chauhan stood on a weak ground.
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