New Delhi: Amid a chorus for his resignation over the Vyapam scam, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday said it was he who had ordered a probe into the case when it was first unearthed in 2013.
"As soon as the scam was first reported in 2013, I ordered agencies concerned to carry out an in-depth investigation," Chouhan said in an interview to an English news channel.
When reminded that the scam had been in news since 2009-10, Chouhan claimed it was only in 2013 that large-scale misappropriation associated with Vyapam came to light.
Asked why his government was shying from ordering a CBI probe, Chouhan reiterated that the Madhya Pradesh High Court had formed a special investigation team to monitor the day-to-day developments in the probe.
"The high court has taken cognizance of the case. We can't order a CBI probe on our own. Also, we have no issues if the court orders the CBI to take over the investigation. I cannot order a CBI probe on my own as that will tantamount to disregard of the honourable high court. We have no objection to anyone approaching the court for a CBI probe," the beleaguered chief minister said.
On the deaths related to the scam, he said: "I agree that unfortunate incidents have occurred; but there is an attempt to create an atmosphere of fear in the state."
Chouhan also expressed confidence that the scam would not dent his public image.
"Vyapam scam will not dent my image. The truth will come out before the people. I have a spotless record and I assure you that no one will be spared in the probe," he added.