New Delhi: After BJP veteran Shanta Kumar raised concerns over the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan wrote a point-by-point rebuttal to Kumar today, saying Vyapam was the propaganda of Congress, which was playing politics over scam-related deaths. Chouhan said there had been 31 Vyapam-related deaths between 2007 and 2015, and that all of them were accused in Vyapam related cases hence, no one stood to benefit from their deaths.
He said 15 of these deaths took place even before an FIR in the scam was registered on July 7, 2013 and remaining 16 occurred on account of either disease, accident or suicide. “Of the 16 people who died after the FIR was registered, six deaths were disease-related, five were due to an accident, three due to suicide and the death of two is under investigation.
“Besides this, by connecting the deaths of five others - Dr D K Sakale, Arun Sharma, Ramakant Sharma, Akshay Singh, Anamika Khushwah, who are not related to Vyapam, an atmosphere of suspicion is being created,” he said.
In his five-page letter, Chouhan has apprised Kumar of the realities of the scam and the initiatives taken by his government to expose it. He said even the recent CBI probe was ordered at his initiative.
Defending the Madhya Pradesh government in the matter, the chief minister added that the SIT-monitored Special Task Force investigations into the Vyapam scam were also assessed as “fair” by the High Court and the Supreme Court.
Accusing Congress of politicising Vyapam-related deaths, an embattled Chouhan said the STF itself had recorded the deaths of 23 people named as accused in the Vyapam scam. Insisting that there was no wrongdoing on the part of the state government, Chouhan went on to question Congress party's claims of “mischief” on Vyapam deaths saying “who would benefit from the death of an accused”.
Former Himachal Chief Minister Shanta Kumar earlier wrote to party chief Amit Shah saying “reports of Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh have made all of us bow our heads in shame. Any Indian will be disappointed and distressed over the kind of stories being reported by the media.”
The party, however, disassociated itself from Kumar's view and snubbed him, saying he had fallen prey to Congress propaganda.
In the letter to Kumar, Chouhan wrote: “I am pained to state that a senior and experienced leader like you has overlooked those values about which you have mentioned in your letter to the BJP President.
As a member of the disciplined party, it was naturally expected from you that instead of arriving at any conclusion about the mentioned incidents, you should have tried to get those things verified.” “Instead of doing that, you have written a letter to the party President and publicised the same in the media...,” Chouhan remarked.
“To express concern over allegations leveled by opposition against your own party leader without obtaining any information is totally unexpected and uncalled for. If you have any problem in getting information from other states then it could have been better for you if you first sought information about corruption in Himachal Pradesh during the current Congress regime,” he said.
Chouhan also mentioned in the letter that high court had termed the act of Congress leaders as trying to “mislead” the probe and also described their allegations as “based on misinformation, miscommunication and misunderstanding”. The Chief Minister also highlighted that the “pen drive” submitted by them (Congress) was also termed as “fake” by the court.
Chouhan also mentioned in the letter that he feels pride in stating that he took action in the case without any fear or favour. Instead, the Congress leaders who have created “fake evidences” against him should walk with their heads down as they levelled baseless allegations against him and made remarks against constitutional bodies like High Court and tried to cash in on the “unfortunate” deaths, he said.