The Congress on Monday accused Narendra Modi of shielding Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the PEB scam and questioned the Prime Minister's avowed intention to curb corruption.
The offensive came on the day the Supreme Court granted four more months to the special investigation team to conclude its probe into the scam, related to the alleged manipulation in recruitment of candidates for government jobs.
Governor Ram Naresh Yadav is among those named in an FIR related to the scam in the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board.
“Every month the PM tells his ‘mann ki baat’ to the people. He should tell people what is his ‘mann ki baat’ on this issue, whether his heart is anguished that a chief minister of his own party has played with the future of students,” senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said in reference to Modi’s monthly radio talk.
Sibal’s colleague Digvijaya Singh also targeted Modi in a separate press conference along with Jyotiraditya Scindia, Shobha Oza and Vivek Tankha.
“Before the Lok Sabha polls, Modi claimed that neither will he engage in corruption nor allow anybody to do it. Failure to initiate action against Chouhan would mean implicit encouragement to corruption,” Singh added.
He mounted a scathing attack on the chief minister, demanding registration of an FIR against him for allegedly tampering with evidence to absolve himself in the scam.
Demanding a CBI probe into matter, Singh said the special task force (STF) cannot investigate the case against the chief minister who writes their confidential reports. He has also written a letter to the SIT chairman to add Chouhan’s name in the list of accused persons.
Singh along with Kamal Nath, Sibal and Scindia had met the PM on March 18 with “solid evidence” of Chouhan’s involvement in the scam and also submitted a CD and excel-sheet document that mentions CM against the names of as many as 48 of the 131 illegal appointees.
Congress leaders claimed that this was the original excel-sheet from the computer hard disk of Nitin Mohindra, the main accused in the scam, that had been tampered with.
“We had met the Prime Minister a few days back on the issue but nothing has come through it so far. Modi, BJP and RSS should introspect about it. Why the party with a difference is trying everything to brush this scam under carpet?” asked Sibal.
In Bhopal, state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan said Singh’s sole purpose in raising the issue over and over again is to throw the ongoing inquiry off track and to remain in the news.
“CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan had shown great courage by ordering the investigation into the PEB scam. By making allegations against the CM, Digvijaya Singh will not attain anything as people of the state have rejected his politics over and over again,” he said in a statement.
(With inputs from Bhopal correspondent)