Bhopal:Madhya Pradesh Congress government announced launching of a fresh probe into the infamous Vyapam Scam on Tuesday.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is already investigating the scam, and has filed multiple chargesheets, but the parallel probe by the Congress government will “reopen all old cases", hinted Law Minister P C Sharma.
“The extent of Vyapam scam is much beyond the pre-medical test (which the CBI is probing). It covers employment exams and recruitment that were left out in the previous investigations. The government will probe every aspect of the scam,” said Sharma, while replying to a question of a Congress MLA in the Assembly on Tuesday.
The scam refers to irregularities in exams held by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, also called Vyavasayik Pareeksha Mandal or Vyapam, for admission in professional courses and state services. “We will investigate any disclosure that comes forth in the Vyapam," Sharma said.
During the 2018 assembly elections, it was former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who had first promised a fresh probe in Vyapam scam if Congress is voted to power. The promise had made its way to the Congress manifesto (Vachan Patra) as well.
Talking to reporters outside the Assembly, Sharma said, “Vyapam scam is a scar on the state. The government has decided to probe it from the top to its roots. The investigation will cover everything and those involved in the scam will not be spared.”
Soon after coming to power, the Congress government had announced it would make changes in the “structure and nomenclature of Vyapam”. In the first week of July, it started the process of closing down Vyapam. A new recruitment body, on the lines of state staff selection commission, is expected to replace it.
Sharma did not disclose details of the committee members, its terms of reference or which complaints will be investigated. He indicated that former CM Digvijaya Singh’s letter to chief minister Kamal Nath on Monday regarding the scam could be one of the pointers.
In its letter to CM Nath, former CM Singh has urged to bring to book “key conspirators of Vyapam scam” and demanded that students who have been implicated in the case be made state approvers. “The main accused are free while candidates, who appeared in the examinations, have been made accused to save the conspirators. They should be brought to justice,” Singh wrote.
Several Congress leaders in the state have demanded a detailed probe into the scam that took place during the tenure of the previous BJP government. “Yes we want untouched areas in the scam to be investigated thoroughly," said Minister for Urban Administration and Development Jaivardan Singh.
Reacting over it, the BJP has termed it as “revenge politics”. Former BJP ministers Narottam Mishra and Bhupendra Singh wondered what the Congress government had done in the last seven months.
Former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, however, said that the government is free to probe whatever it wants. “I am not concerned about the probe. Congress government can investigate all matters related to Vyapam, including my family. The government is free to do so,” he said.
The government has also constituted a cabinet committee to review the functioning of Vyapam. It will submit its report within a month.
Home Minister Bala Bachchan, Health Minister Tulsiram Silawat, Power Minister Priyavrat Singh, Legal Affairs Minister PC Sharma and Finance Minister Tarun Bhanot are members of the committee, whose convener is principal secretary for Technical Education and Skill Development Department.
Also watch: Farzi: Decoding Vyapam Scam