New Delhi: Facing heat over alleged irregularities in selections by the state recruitment board, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today rejected demands for his resignation and dismissed any talk of differences between him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Instead, he said he should be given credit for “exposing” the scam.
“They (Congress) say it (demand resignation). Congress puts blame on us that Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his wife have got the recruitments done. They do not have a single proof for it.
“They feel that unless they spoil my image, they can't be successful.
My strong image among public is their biggest reason for pain,” Chouhan told PTI in an interview here Alleged irregularities have been noticed in the recruitments done by Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), responsible for conducting selections for various government jobs including teachers.
The Chief Minister said Congress leaders speak “bundles of lies” on the issue.
“There were 3,58,490 recruitments done by MPPEB.
Of these, the alleged irregularities were found in 228. The scam was exposed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan and not by Congress or media.
“Today the condition is that one former minister and a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) are behind the bars. I only exposed the scam, but I am still being blamed for it,” he said.
To a question on perceived differences between him and Modi, Chouhan said it was mere speculation and affected neither of the two and they were working in tandem. “Neither does he (Modi) care, nor do I (on talk of differences). People keep on speculating,” he said.
When persisted further about reports of difference between him and Modi, Chouhan asserted “Sawaal hi paida nahin hota” (there is no question of it).
He recalled that after winning 2013 assembly elections, “in my press conference I had first thanked the people for helping BJP win in the state and secondly I had said that now our target is to make Narendra Modi country's prime minister”.
“And for that we will try to win in all 29 seats in the state. We tried and won 27 out of 29 seats. We could not win two seats,” he said.
Chouhan said there was no system for recruitments during Congress rule in the state.
“During Congress rule there was no process for recruitments... Police recruitments were done by superintendents of police. Patwaris were recruited by collectors.
In boards or corporations also, their heads were given rights to recruit people. Nothing used to happen without money,” he said.
Chouhan said that his government was taking action against corrupt people.
“I feel for whatever things I had to get praise, I got negative publicity. I conduct raids, Lokayukta conducts raids. Madhya Pradesh is catching these people. We have provision to confiscate properties acquired through corrupt means.
We are using such properties for people's welfare. We are opening aganwadi's kendra and schools in them.
“But others thought there was a lot of corruption in Madhya Pradesh because we are catching them. If other states do not catch corrupt what can we do,” he said when asked about crores of ill-wealth being unearthed from government employees through these raids.
Chouhan said that steps are being taken to stop any interference by the state government in MPPEB's working. “It will be an independent organisation. We will come out soon with detailed modalities in this regard,” he said.