I exposed Vyapam scam, says Chouhan

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:32 pm IST

Published - July 09, 2015 01:47 am IST - New Delhi

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday dismissed Opposition demands for his resignation over the Vyapam scam saying it was something being raised by the Congress for the last 10 years as the party continued to lose every election in the State.

A day after the Chief Minister yielded to the CBI probe demand, he visited Delhi to meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for a programme in his State.

“The Vyapam matter was not exposed by the Congress or the media. It was done by me when I discovered a racket in the Pre-Medical Test admissions,” he said.

‘Party backing me’

Speaking to The Hindu , Mr. Chouhan said the party was fully behind him and that he had the trust of PM Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and the RSS.

Why sully name of State, Chouhan asks critics

Mr. Chouhan accused the Opposition parties of sullying the reputation of the State in their bid to “avenge their poll debacle”.

On the demand for him to step down over the Vyapam scam, he told The Hindu , “The Opposition are from royal background and big people. If they want to avenge their electoral defeat they should do it with me but why sully the name of the State that has achieved double digit economic growth and is number one in agriculture in the country.”

The Chief Minister, who planned a visit to journalist Akshay Singh’s home while in Delhi, also skipped a direct reply to a question on the coincidence that some of the major BJP contenders before the Lok Sabha elections for the Prime Minister’s post were under a cloud today and said that the party was united and he had the trust of the top leadership.

He avoided a reply to Union Minister Uma Bharti expressing fears for those connected with her in Madhya Pradesh saying “she is a beloved sister”.

Mr. Singh said he faced no threat from colleague Kailash Vijayvargiya who has recently been given a top party position saying that he was a “childhood friend and compatriot.” He has organisational abilities that have been recognised by the party, he added.

Full text of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s interview:

The Opposition says that your decision to ask for a CBI probe in Vyapam is a “criminal delay”?

Where is the delay? The probe is going on and how can an investigation monitored by the High Court be termed as delay? The Vyapam matter was not exposed by the Congress or the media. It was done by me the moment I came to know that there was a racketeering in Pre-Medical Test examination. Fraudulent students were arrested which led us to those involved in the racket. Let me also say that during the previous Congress regime, names written on cigarettes were given admissions. We computerised the system. When we came to know that there was some king of an organised crime we got it investigated by Special Task Force, not local police. Nobody was spared. Over 2000 people were arrested. Some people went to High Court seeking a CBI probe which was rejected but the High Court started monitoring the STF which constituted a SIT. The SIT was not to report to the state government and that ended our connection. People went to Supreme Court, which also rejected a CBI probe. And I can say with all authority that the investigation so far has been very good.

But why did you seek a CBI probe now?

Because of the events in the last two to three days. Unfortunately a journalist who was doing coverage died and an atmosphere of suspicion was created. I felt that in such a situation — Madhya Pradesh knows the truth — outside of the state questions might be raised as to why a CBI probe was not being asked for. So I thought that if fingers are being raised let answers come and I felt that will come from a CBI probe.

The Congress is also demanding that you should step down?

This is nothing new. This had been going on for the last 10 years. The reason is that Congress is out of power in Madhya Pradesh for the last 12 years. In every election they have been defeated whether Lok Sabha, Assembly or local elections. They feel that till such time that Shivraj Chouhan is Chief Minister they cannot come to power and so every morning they demand my resignation. They are from royal background and are big people. I come from an ordinary background. They can avenge their defeat from me but why are they sullying the name of the state that has done so well — has a double digit economic growth rate and is number one in farm growth. Bijli, paani, sadak all has been done, investment is pouring — why are they doing this criminal conspiracy to spoil the image of the state?

You had said every death should not be linked to Vyapam. But 25 deaths, 11 before you lodged the first FIR and 14 after that have been officially declared?

I will not speak on any death. Every death has been investigated. Lot of deaths occurred before Vyapam and some others were for different reasons but they were linked by opposition to Vyapam. The Opposition is trying to sully the image of the state and the good work done, by linking every death with Vyapam. The High Court had asked SIT to investigate. Now CBI can.

In BJP too their seems to be a divide. First Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the matter should be thoroughly investigated. Then Home Minister Rajnath Singh said only if courts say will CBI probe be ordered and then Water Resources Minister said she was scared for people associated with her?

BJP is totally united and I am proud to be a worker of such a party whose leadership’s trust I have-before and now too. No there are no different statements.

And Umaji?

She is my beloved sister.

Those who were seen to be probables for Prime Minister’s position are today under a cloud?

Smiles. This is media creation. We are such workers who had the trust of Atalji and Advaniji and today have the trust of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah and we are working as a team. I meet the Prime Minister every 15 days and many times they give me assignments which I fulfil in a team spirit.

Have you met the Prime Minister on this issue?


Did you meet Rajnath Singhji before deciding to seek CBI probe?

I myself felt I should and as a chief minister I did.

A minister — Kailash Vijayvargiye — who is seen as your rival in the state has been given several new responsibilities in the party?

Kailash is my childhood friend. We were together in Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad and in Yuva Morcha. We became MLAs at the same time and I made him a minister in Madhya Pradesh cabinet. He is a good worker and a good organiser. That is why the Party President has given him new responsibilities. We organised a samman samaroh for him in Bhopal.

You will agree that Vyapam is a racket deeply rooted in corruption. Have you take any steps to see that it is not repeated?

The kind of raids we have done in the state to unearth corruption may not have happened in any state. In Vyapam nobody had the courage to go into it. I did not sweep it under the carpet as was being done earlier and have taken steps to change the system. All examinations will be done online in objective type format with no manual checking and selection will be on merit. Vyapam Act too has been amended.

Even Madhya Pradesh Governor is said to be is involved?

I will not say anything on a Constitutional position.

Are you feeling the pressure?

Sachai ko anch nahi aur haath kangan ko arsi .

Top developments:

1Police ordered a review of the suspicious death of MBBS student Namrata Damor. Her body was found near railway tracks in the Ujjain district in 2012 after her name figured in the scam. Earlier, police had registered a “murder” case in this regard and later termed the incident as an “accident” and closed the case.
2 Buckling under pressure, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan made a U-turn and decided to seek a CBI investigation into the case. >Read more
3 Supreme Court agreed to hear a petition seeking removal of Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav over his alleged involvement in the scam. >Read more
4 The Congress and Aam Aadmi Party demanded a SC-monitored probe in to the case following the spate of deaths. >Read more
5Adding to the string of deaths, the body of trainee sub-inspector Anamika Sikarwar was found in a lake adjacent to the Police Training Academy at Sagar district headquarters in Madhya Pradesh. The Chief Minister quickly denied that the incident was linked to the Vyapam probe.
6Whistleblower Ashish Chaturvedi, 26, claimed that there was a grave threat to his life and accused Mr.Chouhan of being “directly involved” in the scam, a charge rubbished by the CM.
7 It came after the unexplained death of journalist Akshay Singh who was covering the scam in Jhabua while Jabalpur Medical College Dean Arun Sharma, probing fake examinees, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a hotel at Dwarka in south-west Delhi. Police on Monday said no foul play was suspected in the death of Sharma . >Read more
8 Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government cannot direct a High Court or Supreme Court to order a CBI probe into the scam. >Read more
9 Two senior officers of the Special Task Force (STF) investigating the MPPEB scam claimed to have received threats allegedly from some influential people involved in the racket. >Read more
10 The scam involves massive irregularities and corruption in the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) or MP Vyavsayik Pareeksha Mandal, abbreviated in Hindi as Vyapam. It has been alleged — by the Congress as well as several social activists — that the corrupt officials at the board took money to compromise the examination and recruitment for several professional course including Pre-Engineering, Pre-Medical, MCA, Teaching etc. The current accusations mostly involve teaching recruitments. >Read more
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