Bhopal: A day after BJP president Amit Shah's visit to Madhya Pradesh, the party kept up the damage control exercise today by organising press conferences in cities across the state to defend Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is facing the heat of the Vyapam scam.
All the leaders maintained that there was no need for Chouhan to resign as it was he who exposed the massive scandal which has been rocking Madhya Pradesh.
Two Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Prakash Javadekar briefed reporters at Bhopal and Indore respectively.
Similarly, BJP vice-presidents Prabhat Jha, Shyam Jagu, senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Vikram Verma, BJP state chief Nandkumar Singh Chauhan and MP energy minister Rajendra Shukla addressed press meets at Gwalior, Ujjain, Jabalpur, Sagar and Rewa respectively.
The BJP leaders also claimed that Chouhan's wife Sadhana had nothing to do with the scam, rubbishing the Congress allegations that she too was involved in fraudulent recruitment of constables in the transport department.
In Bhopal, Tomar said "no one from Gondia in Maharashtra was selected as alleged by Congress."
The Chief Minister's wife Sadhana hails from Gondia.
According to a BJP source, all those who addressed the press conferences had been given guidelines and "tutored by think tanks" to clear air over Congress' allegations that Chouhan and Sadhana were involved in the scam.
The BJP state unit is also planning to organise a Swabhiman Yatra (pride march) to be led by Chouhan over Vyapam scam in August, the date for which is yet to be finalised, the source added.
During the campaign, BJP leaders and functionaries will reach out to the masses saying that Chouhan has been the whistleblower of the Vyapam scam, and take on the Congress by accusing it of spreading "false propaganda" against the ruling party, the CM and defaming Madhya Pradesh as a whole as it has been continuously losing polls in the state.
Vyapam is a massive admission and recruitment racket in which more than 2,000 accused including politicians, bureaucrats, high profile persons and students have been arrested. Crores of rupees exchanged hands in the scam, which is now being probed by the CBI.
Reportedly, over 45 people related with the scam have died under mysterious circumstances.