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Vyapam scam: Congress, BJP in war of words over CBI clean chit to Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi says charges against Shivraj Singh Chouhan have gone into the dustbin as part of ‘Swachh Bharat abhiyan’ even as chief minister said he was bound to get a clean chit as he had done nothing wrong.

india Updated: Nov 01, 2017 21:09 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Vyapam scam,Vyapam disc,Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Congress leader Kapil Sibal and other leaders address the medi in New Delhi on Wednesday.(Sushil Kumar/HT Photo )

The CBI’s clean chit to Madhya Pradesh chief minister in the Vyapam scam case sparked a political war of words today with the Congress dubbing the probe agency as a “Compromise Bureau of Investigation” and the BJP accusing the rival party of seeking “political benefits”.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi also took a jibe at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), alleging charges against Shivraj Singh Chouhan have gone into the dustbin as part of ‘Swachh Bharat abhiyan’ even as the chief minister said since he had done nothing wrong, he was bound to get a clean chit.

“I was clean, so a clean chit was inevitable,” Chouhan told reporters in Bhopal.

The Congress also alleged that CBI’s investigating officers “tampered” the hard disc of a computer seized from an accused in the case which, the party claimed, carried reference to the chief minister and several ministers.

Congress leader Kapil Sibal said the party would move a court against the CBI and its officers.

Read more: Rigged exams to mysterious deaths of suspects: What is MP’s Vyapam scam

“The CBI has many names and after what the CBI has said on Vyapam, its name now is Compromise Bureau of Investigation,” Congress leader Kapil Sibal told reporters in Delhi.

Sibal, accompanied by party leaders Vivek Tankha and KTS Tulsi, said the Congress would support the whistleblowers in the case and would “investigate the investigator”.

“It is unfortunate... in a country where investigative agency works one-sided and flouts the rule of law, what will happen to democracy there, one should think,” Sibal said.

Sibal accused the CBI of “tampering” with the seized hard disc.

“Naitikta gayi kudedaan, Jai Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan (Morality has gone into the dustbin, hail Clean India campaign),” Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter.

He also attached the news report citing the clean chit given by the CBI to Chouhan in the Vyapam case.

Read more: 7 Vyapam accused summoned under wrong section by CBI, get bail

The CBI has filed a charge sheet against 490 persons in the multi-crore Vyapam admissions scam in Madhya Pradesh in 2013.

BJP termed as “baseless” and “politically motivated” allegations by the Congress that the CBI clean chit to Chouhan in the Vyapam case was based on evidence, which was tampered with.

BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao said the Congress had levelled similar charges against Chouhan earlier too, and they had been “discredited”. It has raked up the issue again for “political benefits”, he said.

“The Congress party’s allegations against the chargesheet submitted in the Supreme Court in the Vyapam case and its allegations against the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan are completely baseless and politically motivated. The Congress party is recycling its old lies in the mistaken hope that this will politically benefit them,” Rao said.

He said Congress’ attack against the CBI stemmed from the fact that the agency’s chargesheet was not “politically conveninent” for the party.

“I was clean, so a clean chit was inevitable. In public life, allegations are levelled, but they should be based on facts. Such (baseless) charges pain the person. I am not worried much, as I was relieved from the beginning,” Chouhan told reporters in Bhopal.

State BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan said allegations of tampering was an attempt to tarnish the image of a popular chief minister and for this, the BJP will not spare anyone.

“After taking lawyers’ opinion, we will file a contempt of court case against Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh and others,” he said in a statement. Congress leader Digvijay Singh and others had alleged that data on the hard disk had a reference to “CM”, which was erased.

The private forensic lab expert, Truth Labs, whose report Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had cited, has told the CBI that she had never given any report stating that files contained on a hard disc which allegedly carried details of pay-offs in the Vyapam scam case were tampered with, an agency official said.

First Published: Nov 01, 2017 21:05 IST