Candidates who appeared for the Madhya Pradesh State Services Preliminary Examination 2022 last month, have questioned the MP Public Service commission's "unfair" decision to drop a question days after the exam, and threatened to approach the high court against the move.
The candidates said the question on the Quit India Movement carried two marks, and deleting it after the exam was "injustice" to those who answered it correctly.
State Congress president Kamal Nath hit out at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), alleging that the MPPSC deleted the question "to please the political leadership", and also accused it of playing with the future of candidates.
Officials said that in the MPPSC's General Studies paper of the preliminary examination 2022 held on May 21, a multiple choice question was asked - 'On which date the Quit India movement started?'. Four choices were given to candidates to answer the question and they included August 7, 1942, August 9, 1942, August 10, 1942 and August 6, 1942.
Talking to PTI, Akash Pathak, a state services exam candidate, said on Wednesday, "We have concrete official documents that the Quit India movement started on August 9, 1942. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also mentioned this in an episode of 'Mann Ki Baat'. The correct choice of the date of the beginning of the movement was in the question paper of the State Service Examination."
In the provisional answer-key released on May 24, the MPPSC declared the option of 'August 9, 1942' as the correct one, but in the final answer key released on June 12, it shockingly deleted this question, carrying two marks, he said. Pathak threatened that if the MPPSC does not withdraw its alleged unfair decision, the candidates will file a petition in the Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
"The deletion of the question on the Quit India Movement is an injustice to the thousands of candidates who answered it correctly," he said. When asked about the controversy over the question of Quit India Movement, MPPSC Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Ravindra Panchbhai said that the question was deleted by subject experts after considering the objections raised by candidates.
Meanwhile, purported screenshots have surfaced on social media claiming that a post from state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's Twitter account dated August 8, 2020, mentioned "August 8, 1942" as the date of the start of the Quit India Movement.
After the controversy, State Congress President Kamal Nath on Wednesday targeted the state's BJP government in a tweet saying, “The answer key of the State Service Examination 2022 organised by the MPPSC has come under controversy. The answer to a question is not being decided by what is the truth, but by what the Chief Minister believed to be true and tweeted on a particular date."
He further said in the tweet, "Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission should prepare answer-keys with facts and truth and not play with the future of students to please political leadership." On the other hand, state BJP spokesperson Narendra Saluja termed Kamal Nath's statement as "childish" and claimed that both August 8, 1942 and August 9, 1942 are discussed in relation to the beginning of the Quit India Movement.