Controversy over BJP’s Vyapam damage control

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Jul 15, 2015 00:28 IST
Union minister for mining Narendra Singh Tomar speaking on Vyapam scam in Bhopal on Tuesday. (Praveen Bajpai/HT Photo)

Two Union ministers on Tuesday joined the BJP’s chorus that Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had no role in the Vyapam exam cheating scam, leading to accusations they were trying to influence the probe handed to the CBI.

Mines minister Narendra Singh Tomar and environment minister Prakash Javadekar addressed press conferences in Bhopal and Indore, respectively, as part of the party’s damage control exercise in the aftermath of the scam that has seen 40 deaths of witnesses and accused so far apart from over 2,200 arrests.

State Congress leader Manak Agarwal said the central government’s intention to hush up the inquiry was clear from Union home minister Rajnath Singh’s statement in Nasik on Tuesday that the CM was not involved in the scam.

“The ministers’ clean chit to the CM after coming down to the state from Delhi suggests the central government’s categorical message to the CBI is to shield Chouhan, whose name appeared in the Excel sheet of MPPEB (Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board),” Agarwal alleged while talking to HT.

Tomar dismissed the Congress charges, saying he was a committed party worker who felt it was his duty to answer media questions on the scam to dispel the confusion created by opposition parties.

“The Congress has raised a wall of lies which will collapse after the inquiry into the scam,” said Tomar. “Chouhan is the leader who ensured a comprehensive probe into the scam. We should take pride in that. There is hardly any example in the country’s history when any CM got an inquiry conducted on such a large scale to bring to book the culprits in a scam.”

Trying to downplay the scam, he said accusatory fingers were raised against the selection of only 1,300 people but the Congress made it appear bigger.

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