Millennium Post

Political crisis in Madhya Pradesh takes new turn

Perhaps for the first time in the history of Independent India serious allegations have been leveled against the Governor and Chief Minister of the same state. It is also a matter of coincidence that these allegations pertain to the same scandal and Centre has asked the Governor to step down. This sensational coincidence has taken place in Madhya Pradesh.

There is a sense of shock and disbelief that both Governor Ram Naresh Yadav and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan are now facing the possibility of being booked on the charge of using their influence to secure jobs for their personal favourites.

It may be recalled here that more than a thousand people have been accused for their involvement in the Vyapam (Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board) scam. This board holds examinations, test and interviews to select candidates for various government jobs and for admissions to professional medical, engineering, nursing, and management colleges. As per investigations by the Special Task Force of the state police, several influential people, including ministers, politicians and officers managed to acquire jobs and admissions for those, who did not possess the requisite qualifications. Following the investigation, many have been arrested. Among those who are in prison, include Laxmikant Sharma, a senior politician and close confidante of Chief Minister Shivraj Chauhan.

Until recently, there was no proof of the Chief Minister’s involvement in the scam. But a few days back, Digvijay Singh, former Chief Minister and Congress General Secretary, made a sensational disclosure. Singh produced some documents that allegedly prove that the Chief Minister also used his influence to get jobs for his favourites. He held a press conference to claim that he has definite proof against the Chief Minister. Before holding the press conference, Singh visited the office of Special Investigating Team, appointed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court to oversee the probe into the scam, and submitted relevant documents. Significantly he submitted relevant documents and an affidavit. During his visit to the SIT office, he was accompanied by two eminent Delhi-based lawyers KT Tulsi and Vivek Tankha.

In order to demonstrate that the entire Madhya Pradesh Congress was with him, he ensured the presence of former Union Ministers Kamal Nath, Suresh Pachori and Jyotiraditya Scindia at the press conference. The very fact that Digvijay Singh presented his allegations on an affidavit shows that he is sure of his position. According to law, if anything said on oath is contravened, the person who signs the affidavit can face legal action. Digvijay Singh alleged that the relevant documents were tampered and the word “CM” was removed wherever it occurred and was replaced by “Raj Bhava” and (Union Minister) “Uma Bharati”. From the moment Digvijay Singh made these allegations, the Congress has been asking Chauhan to step down.

At present Congress MLAs are disrupting the proceedings of the state assembly, demanding that the Chief Minister resigns. In response to these allegations the Chief Minister, his cabinet colleagues and party leaders have termed Digvijay Singh’s allegations as baseless. Considering the seriousness of the issue, Chauhan rushed to New Delhi to apprise the central leadership of the development. During his visit to the national capital, he met with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Digvijay Singh, meanwhile, has threatened to make more disclosures about the Chief Minister’s involvement.

The case regarding Governor Ram Naresh Yadav, however, is more complicated. The Governor’s name had first figured in the Vyapam scam, when Dhanraj Yadav, his officer on special duty, was arrested. Later, reports went onto confirm the involvement of the Governor’s son Shailesh in the scam. Such allegations have, therefore, left the Governor vulnerable to allegations that he was too involved in the scam. Action against the Governor is imminent in view of these facts. Meanwhile the Madhya Pradesh High Court and Justice Chandra Bhushan, who heads the SIT, has given the green signal to initiate action against the those involved in the scam, no matter  how highly placed they may be.

Ram Naresh Yadav was made Madhya Pradesh Governor by the erstwhile Manmohan Singh-led government and now the Congress is demanding his resignation. The anger of Congress legislators came out in the open when they did not allow the Governor to deliver his inaugural speech on the first day of the State Budget Session. He was greeted with slogans that said “Governor Wapas Jao”.

As a consequence, the Governor could not complete his address and left the Assembly within fifteen minutes. Although the BJP government is defending the Governor, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad, a constituent of the Sangh Parivar, is demanding his resignation.

Meanwhile three persons, who were involved in disclosing this scam, have sought special protection. They have complained of threats from those affected. IPA
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