MPPEB scam: Congress activists held for trying to gherao Madhya Pradesh Assembly

The Madhya Pradesh Police on Wednesday arrested around 100 activists of Congress for trying to lay siege to Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly demanding resignation of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Professional Examination Board scam.

Last Updated: Feb 18, 2015, 18:05 PM IST
MPPEB scam: Congress activists held for trying to gherao Madhya Pradesh Assembly

Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh Police on Wednesday arrested around 100 activists of Congress for trying to lay siege to Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly demanding resignation of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Professional Examination Board scam.

Police had to use water cannons on the members of Youth Congress protesting against the scam.

"We have arrested around 100 protesters," DIG Sriniwas Verma told a news agency.

A large number of activists gathered at Lily Talkies square here and held a protest meeting organised by the Youth Congress on the issue.

A string of Congress leaders, including its state unit chief Arun Yadav, Youth Congress president Kunal Choudhary, Laxman Singh, brother of AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh, and others addressed the gathering and dubbed the irregularities as the "biggest scam of Asia and bigger than the Bihar's fodder scam".

They alleged that Chouhan's name had figured repeatedly in the original excel sheet seized from computer of a top MPPEB official Nitin Mohindra but was eventually "struck out".

The leaders said the names of the "high and mighty" who had recommended undue favours for their candidates to crack the professional examinations and recruitment tests too figured in the original document.

They alleged the original excel sheet was doctored to strike out the name of Chouhan and that many people, including former state minister Laxmikant Sharma who is in jail, are being prosecuted on the basis of the fudged excel sheet.

Congress has sharpened its attack on Chouhan with its senior leaders, including Digvijay Singh, Jyotiraditya Scinda and Kamal Nath, having demanded a CBI probe into the scam and resignation of Chouhan, a BJP stalwart who led the state to three consecutive victories in Assembly Elections.

Earlier in the day, Congress members boycotted the customary address of state Governor Ram Naresh Yadav at the beginning of the budget session here.

They sought Yadav's resignation on the ground that name of his son Shailesh cropped up in a supplementary chargesheet in the MPPEB scam, filed in court.

"The Governor is a direct accused in the case and he should resign from his post," Congress' Ram Niwas Rawat said.

The Congress members created uproar in the House on the issue and pressed for his resignation. When the Governor did not pay any attention to their demand, they staged a walkout.

Soon after, the Governor ended his speech by reading few lines from the last para of his 47-page long text and went back to Raj Bhawan.

Madhya Pradesh Industries Minister Kailash Vijaywargiya and Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Gopal Bhargava termed the Opposition attitude as "very shameful".

"The Congress members have disrespected the Governor which has never happened in the history of Madhya Pradesh Assembly," Bhargava said.

The Governor did not respond to media's query whether he is putting his papers on the issue or not.

Later, BJP's Archana Chitnis proposed the thanksgiving motion on the Governor's address which was supported by BJP's Rameshwar Sharma following which Speaker Sitasharan Sharma adjourned the House for the day.

Talking to reporters in the Assembly's entrance, Leader of the Opposition Satyadev Katare said since both Governor and the State Chief Minister are allegedly accused in the case, they should resign from their posts immediately.

The Special Task Force which is probing the MPPEB scam has accused Shailesh in the contractual teacher recruitment scam in the supplementary chargesheet filed in the court.

(With PTI inputs)