Vyapam scam: All-out strife in BJP as Uma, Shivraj trade barbs

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July 7, 2015

NEW DELHI – An open war broke out in the BJP on Monday as Union Water Resources Minister and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti fired a barrage of accusations at Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over discrepancies in the Vyapam scam . She feared for her own life, she said. Over 40 deaths have been linked to the scam so far.

July 7, 2015

NEW DELHI – An open war broke out in the BJP on Monday as Union Water Resources Minister and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti fired a barrage of accusations at Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over discrepancies in the Vyapam scam . She feared for her own life, she said. Over 40 deaths have been linked to the scam so far.

Talking exclusively to India Today TV, Bharti alleged that the crime branch of the state police was deliberately botching up the probe. The firebrand leader went to the extent of questioning Chouhan's role in the scam. She demanded that the chief minister's role be probed.

"When the Indore crime branch was sharing information regarding the probe with the STF, discrepancies took place. It would be better if the CM could order a probe into these discrepancies so that people are not falsely implicated," she said.

"So many people linked to the scam have died. I now fear for my life," Bharti added.

Bharti also demanded a CBI probe, saying that while she did not doubt the sincerity of the SIT team which is currently monitoring the investigation, but it would help clear doubts being raised over the probe. "The state government should leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of the case if the CM is serious about this. If not, the case should be handed over to the CBI," she said.

One Pandit Leela Dhar Pachauri used to stay in the servant quarters of Bharti's B-6 Shyamla Hills residence. Since he is an accused in the scam, Bharti has also been named as an accused by the police. Bharti alleged that the same standards were not being applied in the case of Prem Chand Prasad who was Chouhan's personal assistant and used to sit in the CM's office. Prasad also has been chargesheeted in the scam for allegedly having secured admissions for more than 200 students, including his daughter, through dubious means.

'Tough to digest'

"The association of Prem Chand Prasad was far closer to Chouhan than that of Pachauri to me. I find it difficult to digest that cops have named me as an accused, while not taking any action against the chief minister," she said.

Meanwhile, in another exclusive interview, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan evaded questions regarding Bharti's claims. "I don't know what she has said. I don't want to comment. She is an esteemed leader," he said.

However, he would not recommend a CBI inquiry in the matter, he said. "The investigation is under the observation of the high court which had earlier rejected the demand for a CBI inquiry into the scam. The Supreme Court of India had also rejected such a demand. Now if I recommend a CBI inquiry it would amount to distrust in the HC and SC as well as contempt of court," Chouhan said.

'Quick probe'

Chouhan reiterated that the state government had nothing to do with the investigation which was being carried out by the SIT under the direct supervision of the high court. "When the discrepancies in Vyapam came to our notice in 2013, we immediately started a probe. Before that in India, all investigations had been myopic and focused only on the immediate events. For the first time, I ordered a comprehensive probe to find out each and every detail," the CM said.

Chouhan also trained guns on the Congress and Digvijaya Singh in particular. "The Vyapam probe is the mark of my honesty. The Congress and Digvijaya Singh have been producing fake documents and falsifying evidence. I want to assure that these people will be in the dock," he said.

'Being targeted'

"The Congress is targeting me since it is the party of princes and kings who think that to rule is their birthright. They have not been able to come to terms with the fact that a commoner has become the CM and won a third term too," he added.

"I want to assure the people that there is no atmosphere of fear in MP. I also invite the media to investigate the matter as falsity cannot evade media probe for long. The recent deaths related to Vyapam scam are unfortunate, but not all can be linked to the scam," Chouhan said.


Courtesy: Mail Today

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