The Opposition Congress on Tuesday mounted fresh offensive on Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan after pictures emerged of him sharing the dais with an accused in the much-publicised PEB scam.
Pictures showed Chouhan sitting beside Gulab Singh Kirar, a member of the state’s backward class commission and an accused in the multi-layered scam which has dominated the headlines in recent times.
Kirar, the national president of the organisation which represents the Kirar community, and his son Shakti Pratap are accused in the pre-PG medical test-2011.
Besides Chouhan, one of his cabinet ministers Rampal Singh was also present in the function held in Bareli town of Raisen district, 35 km from Bhopal.
Sources said that Kirar was present at the helipad to receive Chouhan and was seen engrossed in conversation with the chief minister throughout the programme.
Chouhan, however, avoided journalists saying that he did not wish to answer political questions during a public function. Kirar also refused to answer queries by reporters.
The function provided fresh fodder to the Congress which accused the chief minister of shielding a scam accused.
A statement issued by the Congress on Tuesday said the sharing of the dais proved that Chouhan was giving full protection to scam accused.
“Chouhan’s claims that all accused in the MPPEB scam would be punished have also been exposed,” the party said.
The Congress has stepped up its attack on Chouhan in recent days, accusing the chief minister and his wife of being involved in the examination and recruitment scam, one of the biggest scandals to have rocked the state.
The special task force probing the scam recently named governor Ramnaresh Yadav in one of the scam cases.
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had produced “evidence” in the form of documents and mobile text messages to implicate Chouhan, who has categorically rejected the charges.
The scam in the PEB saw candidates for various education courses and government jobs rig the exams with the help of scamsters who arranged imposters to write the answer sheets, supplied forged answer sheets and even manipulate seating arrangements.
More than 1,800 arrests have been made so far which include political leaders, businessmen, government employees and candidates.
Sources said Kirar is accused of helping his son fraudulently crack the pre-PG medical test in 2011 with the help of a gang involved in the scam.
A case against the Kirars is registered at the Jhansi road police station in Gwalior.
The special investigation team (SIT), Gwalior is probing the case.
Additional superintendent of police (ASP) Virendra Jain, heading the SIT in Gwalior, said investigation was on and “whenever police gather sufficient evidence against Kirar, he would be arrested”.