Senior Congress leader Satyadev Katare alleged on Saturday that all admissions to private medical and dental colleges in Madhya Pradesh since 2004-05 were rigged and current and former members of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s cabinet used the racket to get their kin admitted in the institutions.
Katare, the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, said a “big racket” in the Dental and Medical Admission Test (DMAT) was larger than the scam in the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) that involved former officials.
Four ministers and three former ministers got their sons and daughters admitted to private medical colleges through the racket, he alleged during a news conference.
He named only one serving minister, Gopal Bhargava, and Indore mayor Malini Gaud as people who allegedly benefited from the racket.
He also named two former BJP ministers and said he would reveal the names of others later.
Responding to Katare’s accusations, Bhargava said the Congress leader could get the matter investigated by any agency of his choice or even conduct an inquiry himself.
“If he can find some evidence, I am ready to be held accountable,” he said.
Gaud described the allegations as baseless and said Katare was levelling such charges out of frustration.
“My son was admitted under the management quota in a private college according to procedures and has got registration from the Medical Council of India too,” she said.
The DMAT, conducted to enroll students to 50% of seats in private medical and dental colleges, is conducted by the Association of Private Dental and Medical Colleges.
Admissions to the remaining seats were done through the now-notorious Pre-Medical Test (PMT) conducted by PEB.
The multi-layered PEB scam saw touts manipulate seating arrangements of candidates, provide forged answer sheets and even arrange proxy candidates to write the tests for admission to colleges and recruitment in government jobs.
The admissions referred to by Katare were done in 2004 and 2005, before the PEB scam had begun. Katare claimed the DMAT scam was to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees. However, he did not provide any documentary evidence to support his charges.
He alleged that Yogesh Uprit, the DMAT examination controller who earlier retired from the post of director of the PEB, had revealed the scam during his interrogation.
Uprit was arrested in Gwalior on Friday. He is being questioned but officials have not provided any details about his revelations.
Katare said the racket in the DMAT worked on the lines of the scam in the PEB. He alleged that all the admissions done through DMAT were “fake” and candidates were selected because of “money and influence”.
“There should be a high-level inquiry and investigation about the role of the ministers and ex-ministers who got their kin admissions in private colleges,” he said.
The pattern of examinations should be changed and there should be a probe into the role of medical colleges, he added.