Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday said he would call upon Congress president Sonia Gandhi to clarify from her whether she has mandated Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh and other party leaders to malign his image.
Accusing Congress leaders led by Singh of hatching a conspiracy to destabilise the BJP government by leveling false allegations in the in the examination and recruitment scandal known as the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), Chouhan said he would seek time from the Congress president with a request to act against them.
"I will also seek time to meet her and inform her about the 'dirty' politics being indulged in by her party leaders in Madhya Pradesh. I believe she will take action against these leaders,” Chouhan told reporters in Bhopal.
Reacting to the high court order in the MPPEB scam, the CM said the Congress leaders had stooped “very low” to implicate him and tarnish his image because they could not harm him politically.
Chouhan termed the Congress’s propaganda against him in relation to the scam as “ghatiya, nikrisht and nirlajja” (cheap, lowly and shameless) aimed at misleading the media.
He further said that the court's latest order in the matter has brought the truth out. “Singh stands exposed as the Madhya Pradesh High Court has endorsed the Special Investigation Team’s (SIT’s) finding that documents submitted by a cyber expert against me as evidence were indeed forged,” Chouhan said.
“Singh was running a smear campaign against me based on those documents,” he said.
Singh had presented a pen drive purportedly containing the 'original' excel sheets obtained from PEB's former principal system analyst Nitin Mahindra and claimed that in that the CM's name had appeared 48 times in the document as the one who had recommended candidates for selection in various recruitment tests held by PEB.
Earlier in February, Singh had alleged that an original hard disk seized from an MPPEB official had been tampered with to ensure a clean chit for Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and to implicate others. He had alleged that Chouhan’s name was deleted and replaced by minister Uma Bharti and ‘Raj Bhavan’.
The SIT is monitoring the investigation by the Special Task Force (STF) into the multi-crore scam.
The high court, which is monitoring the investigation into the scam, had asked the SIT to examine the pen drive and other documents presented by the whistleblower in the case Prashant Pandey in the Delhi High Court to see its veracity.
Pandey had in his submission had had claimed the evidence submitted by him was original and the probe should be carried out on its basis.
He had told the Delhi HC that the ongoing probe was based on a “doctored” excel sheet as Chouhan’s name was struck out from it.
The Delhi HC had then forwarded the excel sheet and pen drive, submitted by Pandey, to Madhya Pradesh HC which ordered the SIT to get them verified'.
The SIT, in its report on April 22, held that the pen drive and documents were forged and aimed at misleading the investigation.
"Singh was a chief minister of the state for 10 years. How could he level such baseless allegations against me? I have never seen such 'vindictive' politics in Madhya Pradesh throughout my life," said Chouhan.
The CM also lashed out at Singh for 'implicating' his wife and family members in the scam. "Is it crime to be CM's wife or CM's family members? They have deliberately been targeting my family members with "forged and baseless evidences".
“It always happens that the Opposition levels allegations against the government, but such a 'dirty' politics was never seen earlier. Only I can feel the pain my family members are facing due to baseless allegations leveled against them" said Chouhan.