Buoyed by top leaders coming together and launching a strong attack against MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Congress aims to go with all guns blazing against Chouhan over the Professional Examination Board (PEB) scam.
The party now plans to hit the streets and raise the issue vociferously in the state assembly during the budget session which begins on February 18.
Congress leaders, wishing not to be named because they were not authorised to speak to the media, say their strategy is to corner Chouhan as the scam has become his Achilles’ heel. The aim is to keep the tempo up consistently in the coming days.
The Congress leaders feel that Chouhan — who is the face of BJP in the state — has managed to keep his image of a 'humble person' intact and cornering him on PEB scam would dent his credibility.
"The magnitude of the scam is scary. Just a few cases have been investigated so far and most crucial ones are yet to be probed. Our aim is to expose the nexus of the high and mighty, who cheated the people, especially, an entire generation (youth) of the state," said a Pradesh Congress Committee functionary.
"With evidences and documents, we will show how connivance of the corrupt has permeated the entire system in the state. The agitations will continue till the guilty go to the jail," he added.
To step up the tempo, the Youth Congress has also planned to lay siege to the assembly on the first day of the session on Wednesday.
The Congress leaders privately admit that they hadn't targeted Chouhan adequately over the scam in the past, and had they had done so, it would have worked for them. Now, after successive losses in the elections, this is the right moment for the Congress to 'expose' Chouhan's claims of good governance and bring down his popularity in the masses, party leaders feel.
Till now, the Congress at times appeared to be taking up the issue half-heartedly and only a few leaders raised it. Some of its leaders had even said off the record that it was an urban issue and didn't have appeal among rural masses.
However, with the high command giving a go-ahead to the top leaders to put up a united front by holding a joint press conference against Chouhan, the state unit has got the message loud and clear.
Leader of opposition in the state assembly Satyadev Katare said the Congress would strongly raise the issue in the assembly session. "The STF probe is an eyewash to save the guilty,” he alleged.
Chouhan held the portfolio of medical education department during the period of the scam. Hence, he is even more accountable and he must quit, said Katare.