Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will address a series of public rallies to present his side of the story in the Vyapam scam, which has rocked the state and left his government open to increasing attacks by the political Opposition.
BJP sources said the rallies will be part of a statewide yatra tentatively planned from the first week of August to mark Chouhan’s 10 years at the helm.
The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has been on the back foot ever since a series of mysterious deaths put the examination rigging scam in the national spotlight.
Chouhan was virtually forced to move the Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe into the scam and mysterious deaths, which the Opposition Congress alleges is a systematic elimination of key witnesses.
Watch: The A to Z of the Vyapam scam
Accepting the government’s plea, which came after similar requests by the Congress, the apex court this week ordered a CBI probe into the scam and the deaths.
Sources said a plan has been worked out for a series of yatras across the state from August in the run up to completion of Chouhan’s 10 years in office in November.
The CM is likely to tell the people how he asked the police to investigate the scam and take it to its logical conclusion — a claim denied by the Congress — and how in the course of investigation, top BJP leaders involved in the scam were sent to jail.
Chouhan has ruled the state consecutively since November, 2005. The party’s victory in the recent civic body polls was also indication of the fact that Chouhan was sitting pretty as the face of the BJP in the state, party leaders claim.
Though assembly elections are not due till 2018, sources said the CM plans to address his core support base of farmers, non-agricultural land owners and other rural communities.
“These are the communities not touched by the Vyapam scam. The yatras will serve the purpose of consolidating the support base and also control damage caused by the Vyapam controversy,” said a BJP leader.