Vyapam: Cong goes for the jugular
Supreme Court’s direction to the Madhya Pradesh government to hand over Vyapam scam enquiry to the Central Bureau of Investigation will boost the prestige of the Congress in general and Digvijay Singh in particular. Digvijay Singh, AICC General Secretary and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister has been consistently demanding CBI enquiry. He filed petitions to this effect, in both the High Court and Supreme Court.
He mobilised the galaxy of top legal talents to plead his case. He won moral victory on July 9 when the MP government itself conceded the demand for CBI enquiry. The Congress has now decided to mount more pressure by announcing Madhya Pradesh bandh on July 16. Originally decision to observe bandh was taken to press the demand for CBI enquiry. Since CBI enquiry demand has already been conceded, the Congress has added three new demands. The CBI enquiry should be monitored by the Supreme Court, enquiry should also be ordered into the conduct of the Madhya Pradesh Special Investigation Team (SIT) Special Task Force (STF) and also resignation of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan. The SIT and STF were the MP police agencies which were handling the Vyapam enquiry.
While the Supreme Court decision will boost the prestige of the Congress it will go a long way to tarnish the image of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and also the Chief Minister himself. On top of it, Vyapam has already <g data-gr-id="76">has</g> <g data-gr-id="77">adverse</g> impact on the credibility of the RSS. Question marks have been put on the conduct of the RSS also.
There are several reasons which are affecting the RSS reputation. Some local newspapers carried a story with the title “RSS man drags ex-Sangh Chief into scandal”.
According to the story: A beneficiary of the Vyapam scam had apparently told the STF that former RSS chief, the Late KS Sudarshan, and senior Sangh leader Suresh Soni helped him pass a job test with distinction despite leaving many questions unanswered.
The former RSS chief’s longtime sewadar or volunteer assistant, Mihir Kumar, told the STF during questioning last year that a racket comprising officials of the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (PEB), or Vyapam, secured him a food inspector’s job following recommendations from Sudarshan and RSS leader Soni.
Soni denied the allegations after Kumar’s statement was made part of the charge sheet submitted before a local court in Bhopal on March 20, 2014. The document filed by the STF, which has been investigating the multi-crore recruitment fraud in Madhya Pradesh, said Kumar wrote the Professional Examination Board-conducted examination for recruitment of junior food and civil supplies officers and weights and measurement inspectors in 2012.
After filling in the application form, he gave a photocopy to Sudarshan and requested him to get the job for him, the statement said. It was alleged that the RSS leader contacted Soni and then Higher Education Minister, Laxmikant Sharma, who assured full assistance. Sharma, a key accused in the Vyapam scam, is currently in jail. Kumar was instructed to answer questions he was confident of and leave the rest blank. When the results were declared, his name was at the 7th position on the merit list. The bluff was called when some racketeers, including PEB officials, were arrested.
Another reason which has affected the RSS reputation is the fact that Chief Minister Chauhan has been a blue-eyed boy of the RSS. He has been a devoted RSS volunteer from his high school days. This close proximity to the RSS can be measured by the fact that during the emergency, he was arrested when he was still a school student. After he became Chief Minister he took certain decisions which further endeared him to the RSS leaders.
He lifted the ban on government employees’ participation in the RSS activities. He took several steps to convert MP into a Hindu Rashtra. He made Surya Namaskar compulsory for School students. He also introduced Yoga and readings from the Gita. Besides he initiated a scheme of pilgrimage for senior citizens. Under this scheme, senior citizens are taken to various holy places of the country. The government used to wear whole expenditure on the journey. He also named many welfare schemes after Hindu denomination. Like “Ladli Lakshmi” etc.
Now the same RSS stalwart is presiding over a government under whose umbrella country’s biggest scam has taken place. Many such persons who were very close to him, have been accused of active involvement in the scam. Most of them have RSS background including Laxmikant Sharma, who was a member of Chauhan’s kitchen cabinet.
Thus the MP government was being run by the people who are regarded ardent and totally committed RSS volunteers. Most of such people who not only fail to control corruption but themselves got involved in it.It is obvious that the Vyapam scam, particularly after the Supreme Court Judgment has already adversely affected Chauhan’s grip over the administration. There are broad indications that top leadership of the BJP has already started maintaining distance from Chauhan. Chauhan could not meet BJP president Amit Shah during his recent visit to New Delhi. He could meet only Sushma Swaraj. After the deaths of Aaj Tak Journalist and Jabalpur Medical College Dean, not many BJP leaders of Madhya Pradesh lent their support to him.
It is a strange coincidence, both Chief Minister and state governor Ram Naresh Yadav’s reputation has already touched lowest ebb. It is expected that crucial decision about <g data-gr-id="71">governor</g> and Chief Minister may be taken after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign visit.