State government’s school education department was on the back foot after leader of opposition in the state assembly Ajay Singh filed a complaint against chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday.
The event had such an impact on the state government that school education minister Archana Chitnis had to hurriedly convene a press conference to clarify its stand although she remained defensive and could not give convincing replies to media queries.
Ajay Singh along with some Congress legislators reached CBI office on Monday afternoon and formally filed a complaint supported with documentary evidence against the chief minister.
The Congress delegation met CBI SP Yatindra Koyal and informed him that the state government received a fund of Rs 19 crore under Union government’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’s reading development cell.
The state government subscribed for RSS- owned magazine Devputra for 15 years in violation of rules and paid them Rs 13.26 crore in advance.
The complaint stated that a reading development cell should be formed for students of classes 1 and 2 and books advised by NCERT should be prescribed.
According to the complaint, a committee, headed by the chief minister and education minister, was formed.
Note sheets of school education department attached with the complaint make it clear that all efforts were made to avoid NCERT - prescribed books and prescribe Devputra magazine for schools.
No decision on subscribing the magazine was taken in the general body meeting but school education minister in her note sheet suggested that the general body has approved subscription of the magazine.
In another note sheet, commissioner, school education had recommended reconsideration of the proposal.
According to the decision taken in the general body meeting, two Devputra magazines per school were prescribed for life time in all primary and middle schools of Madhya Pradesh and a payment of Rs 13.26 crore was made to the publisher of the magazine on March 31, 2010 through draft.
Note sheet of then principal secretary, school education has also been presented as evidence which stated that purchase committee of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has not recommended the proposal.
This note sheet was returned with a tip from CM’s secretary saying that the decision has already been taken in the general body meeting.
The complaint alleged that as the decision to prescribe Devputra was not taken in the general body meeting, it is evident that the chief minister and school education minister got the proposal and payment of Rs 13.26 crore given to the RSS-affiliated publisher.
The complaint also questioned the wisdom behind agreement with the publisher for 15 years and paying him in advance.
According to the instructions from Union government, books for reading development cell were to be purchased only for classes 1 and 2 while the chief minister and school education minister bought books for students of classes 1 to 8.
The fund which was allotted for 2009-10 was spent according to the agreement over a period of 15 years, which is against norms.