The opposition Congress on Wednesday stepped up its efforts to corner Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Professional Examination Board (PEB) scam, presenting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi evidence of his alleged complicity in the scandal.
A delegation comprising senior Congress leaders met Modi in New Delhi and sought his intervention in the probe into the multi-layered scam in admissions to various courses and recruitment in government jobs.
The Congress leaders submitted what they said was "sold evidence" against Chouhan to the Prime Minister. They demanded a CBI probe into the scam.
This was the first time the Congress took up the scam with Modi after raising the issue in the state and demanding Chouhan’s resignation.
The Congress leaders — AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh, MPs Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kamal Nath and former Union minister Kapil Sibal — told Modi about the extent of the scam.
Later, talking to reporters, Sibal said the leaders informed Modi that this was the biggest recruitment and admission scam of its kind in the country’s history.
The Congress has claimed that excel sheets, which were recovered from the computer of a systems analyst arrested for his role in the scam, had references to Chouhan being one of the persons who allegedly recommended candidates for recruitment in government jobs. The party further alleged that the excel sheets were tampered with to remove references to Chouhan.
"We told him (Modi) about how the hard disk was tampered and gave him proof of it. The tampering was done to remove the Chief Minister's name, so that his role could not be investigated," Sibal said.
"We urged the Prime Minister to take the case in his hands," he added.
Sibal said Modi had promised that he would not tolerate corruption and the Congress expected him “to take strong action in this case”.
The Congress leaders said the future of lakhs of youngsters was affected by the scam, as ineligible students and those who did not even appear in tests were selected because of rigging.
The scandal, which saw scamsters rig tests by employing imposters to write papers, manipulating sitting arrangements and even supplying forged answer sheets, has resulted in more than 1,800 arrests.
The Congress delegation also urged Modi to declare recent hailstorms in Madhya Pradesh as a national calamity and ensure that farmers get adequate compensation.
(With agency inputs)