Bhopal: Days after a series of raids by Income Tax officials on persons said to be close to top Madhya Pradesh Congress leaders, including Chief Minister Kamal Nath, the state government has launched a counter offensive against some former ministers and officials who were occupying key positions during the BJP rule and were allegedly involved in scams.
In last one week, the State Economic Offences Wing (EOW) has registered two FIRs, one in the Rs 3000-crore e-tender scam against “unknown politicians and bureaucrats” and the second against 20 professors including former vice chancellor of the Madhya Pradesh University of Journalism, BK Kuthiyala for misuse of funds and illegal appointments in the university between 2010 to 2018.
In the e-tender scam, the EOW arrested four people including three directors of a private firm Osmo IT Solutions in Bhopal, Vinay Chaudhary, Varun Chaturvedi and Sumit Golwarkar, and Officer on Special Duty of MP State Electronics Development Corporation, Nand Kumar Brahme.
In the Makhanlal Chaturvedi University case, the EOW booked 20 officials of the university including former VC Kuthiyala under section 409 (Criminal Breach of Trust ), 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery and property), 120 B (Criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The case was registered on Sunday, April 14, a day after registrar Deependra Baghel complained to the EOW.
Besides, Nath also hinted at the reopening of 1,200 pending Vyapam complaints that haven’t been taken up by the CBI, which is probing the case, according to a report in The Times of India on April 11
Also Read: Congress and BJP Leaders Toss Charges Over Crucial Evidence in Vyapam Scam
According to the report, CBI had taken over 180 of the 251 Vyapam cases from the MP special task force (STF) after Supreme Court handed over the probe to it in July 2015. At the time, STF had around 1,200 more complaints pending — they were all pushed to the backburner.
In the meantime, Vyapam whistleblowers met with the Chief Minister and urged him to take a deeper look at the recruitment scam. “I met the CM and informed him about pending complaints. STF can file supplementary chargesheets in these cases. We have sent briefs on cases that were not taken up by the CBI,” said Vyapam whistleblower Anand Rai.
Rai met Kamal Nath in Bhopal to discuss the matter on Wednesday evening. “The CM asked me to send a note. We have already sent it. In some of the cases, the investigating agency had let off influential politicians under pressure from the high command,” he said.
A day after the raid, CM Nath held a discussion with chief secretary SR Mohanty and Director General of Police VK Singh in connection with the IT raids and action taken on scams that took place during the previous government.
During the meeting, Nath instructed them to get the files of irregularities that took place during the BJP government and hand them over to the EOW for investigations. He also said that the government would be handing over all documents to the EOW and other police agencies. It was also decided in the meeting that information about irregularities that took place in districts should also be collected after the Lok Sabha polls.
By this, Nath is giving a clear message to ministers and MLAs that all issues related to BJP leaders should be put up before him. Congress, in its manifesto during the Assembly polls, had promised inquiry into the scams that took place in the BJP government. He had clarified after the elections that he would take appropriate action against all involved, hinting that he would not spare any officers close to the BJP.
Also read: Congress Begins To Wash Off The ‘Saffron’ From Makhanlal Journalism University
The Congress government’s action is likely to open another political crisis in the already war-like atmosphere prevailing in the state, less than three weeks before voting.
Some of the probes which are under the scanner are purchases made during Simhastha, irregularities in loan disbursement in cooperatives department & CM discretionary fund, purchase of onions and plantation on the banks of Narmada, expenses in the organisation of the Global Investors Summit, scholarship scam, works assigned to NGOs, events conducted by the culture department and expenditure during the Vaicharik Mahakumbh.