Bowing to public outcry, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said he will request the high court to order a CBI probe into the Vyapam case, including the large number of deaths of people allegedly linked to the scam.
Chouhan, who has been under opposition attack over the rising death toll, said people wanted to know the truth and it had become imperative that the case be probed by CBI now to put to rest all doubts.
The opposition has alleged that nearly 45 people having links with the Vyapam admission and recruitment scam have died since the investigation into the scandal began in July 2013. At least five people, including a journalist covering the scam, have died under mysterious circumstances in last one week.
Addressing a press conference, Chouhan rejected the Congress charge of his involvement in the scam, terming it as “baseless”.
“Honouring public sentiments, I will request the high court to order a CBI probe,” he said, noting that democracy is run on public acceptability. “The functioning of the government should be beyond any doubt,” he said.
Referring to the recent deaths and the public outcry for a thorough probe, Chouhan said many unfortunate events have occurred of late, including the journalist’s death, and that people have a right to know the truth.
Contending that it was not within his powers to order a CBI probe, the chief minister said the developments in the case demanded fair answers.
“I thought about the matter the whole night…The questions which have been raised need answers. It has become necessary now that CBI investigates the case,” he said.
Asked if he wanted a CBI probe into these unnatural deaths as well, he said the agency should probe all aspects of the case.
On Congress’ allegation about his involvement, he said all charges the opposition party had levelled against him in the case so far had been found to be wrong.
Chouhan, however, refrained from making any comment on Union Minister and former state Chief Minister Uma Bharti’s statement that she too felt “scared” over the deaths.
“She is like my elder sister and a very respected leader. I respect her a lot. I made no comment against her even when she was not in BJP,” he said.