A tearful Madhya Pradesh governor Ram Naresh Yadav on Friday denied any wrongdoing in the Vyapam scam and vowed to resign if there was “even an iota of evidence” against him in the exam-rigging scandal that has threatened to derail his political career.
Yadav’s first public comments in the raging issue came before a gathering of students and teachers of Barkatullah University here during the varsity’s convocation.
“Mere daaman me aaj tak kabhi dhabba nahi laga (there has been no slur on me),” the 88-year-old governor said as tears rolled down his cheeks.
The auditorium was stunned into pindrop silence as a sobbing Yadav recalled his “long career in politics” during which he had occupied several positions in several states.
Yadav, who was earlier named in an FIR in the scam, has maintained a studied silence over his alleged role in the scam in which one of his sons Shailesh was also an accused.
Shailesh was found dead in mysterious circumstances at his Lucknow residence in March this year, weeks after a special task force (STF) lodged FIRs against Yadav for his alleged involvement in recruitment for government jobs. The CBI has since then taken over the scam cases from the STF.
The high court later ordered quashing of the FIR against the governor as he enjoys immunity against criminal proceedings by dint of his office.
The governor has come under the scanner once again over the appointment of his grandson as an assistant professor at the Barkatullah University.
Taking on his detractors, the governor said some people were trying to tarnish his image and he was bearing it in silence because he strongly believed in the law of the country.
“Now, I am 88-year-old and God knows that I maintained transparency in my working and never misused my position. If anyone can show even an iota of evidence regarding any irregularity committed by me I will resign from my post,” he added.
Earlier, the governor was shown black flags by National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) members as a sign of protest.
“We protested against the governor as we don’t want him to preside over the function and distribute degrees to meritorious students. Yadav is facing allegations of his involvement in Vyapam and in the appointment of his grandson,” said NSUI state spokesperson Vivek Tripathi.