New Delhi: Congress launched a scathing attack on the Madhya Pradesh government over Vyapam scam on Monday, demanding resignation of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and calling for an impartial probe.
Firing volley of questions at the Madhya Pradesh government, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, while addressing a press conference, said, “How did the scam affecting nearly 76 lakh candidates take place without the knowledge of MP CM for seven years between 2007-2013?”
Surjewala asked the MP CM as to why he did not take action in successive years between 2010-13.
Questioning the delay in conducting an enquiry in Vyapam scam, he said that a committee to probe the scam was constituted in 2009 but the first meeting was held only after 13 months.
“Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered another enquiry on May 6, 2011 to be decided by a college-level committee for each college. This report was to be submitted within a month. Instead of one month, these reports were submitted after 30 months i.e. on December 3, 2013,” he said.
He added, “Will he explain the reason for this criminal delay?”
Calling for a probe into Chouhan's role in the scam, the Congress spokesperson said, “If people associated with the CM are accused in the scam, then should the SIT and STF not question him?”
Reiterating the demand for a CBI probe, he said the Jabalpur bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court had said that members of the Special Investigation Team probing the scam faced threats to their own lives.
Surjewala said that despite a call for an independent probe by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the MP CM rejected the demand.
“Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had on Sunday demanded a neutral investigation in the Vyapam deaths, including that of a journalist. Is Chauhan refusing to listen to his own government,” he said.
"Does the reluctance of the chief minister reflect his jitteriness and an attempt to stifle the truth and divert the investigation?" he added.
“Chouhan is misleading the nation and telling a lie. He is again hoodwinking the nation. Does reluctance of MP CM reflect jitteriness on his part as also an attempt to quieten the truth and divert the investigation?,” he said.
He added that since the scam surfaced, approximately 140 FIRs have been registered and 3,800 accused named. “However, 800 accused have not been caught so far and 46 people connected to the scam have lost their lives so far,” he said.
The Special Investigating Team (SIT) probing the scandal had submitted to the MP High Court that 23 deceased in the MPPEB scam had died unnatural deaths so far.
The most high-profile death in connected with case has been that of Shailesh Yadav, son of Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav. Shailesh (50) was found dead at his father's residence in Mall Avenue area of Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow on March 25, 2015.
(With Agency Inputs)