2014: Vyapam Scam Blot on BJP Performance in Madhya Pradesh

Manish Shrivastava/ Bhopal
2014: Vyapam Scam Blot on BJP Performance in Madhya Pradesh

BJP dominated the political landscape in Madhya Pradesh in 2014 by registering resounding victories in Lok Sabha and local bodies elections but an admission-cum-recruitment scam made Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan do a lot of explanation.

A Global Investors Summit (GIS) inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Nobel Peace Prize win by Vidisha-born Kailash Satyarthi brought good news to the state.

The BJP won 27 of the 29 Lok Sabha seats with Congress managing to bag only two -- former Union ministers Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia.

BJP's winning streak continued in the local body elections as it won all 10 municipal corporations.

The Congress mostly remained a divided house with top leaders including Digvijay Singh, Nath, Scindia and Suresh Pachouri failing to stop MLAs Choudhary Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi, Sanjay Pathak and Narayan Tripathi and sitting MP Rao Uday Pratap Singh from leaving the party.

Though Congress tried to corner BJP by raising the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board scam, popularly known as 'Vyapam ghotala' relating to Pre-Medical Test (PMT) for admission in medical colleges and also in recruitment for number of government jobs, the chief minister deftly handled the crisis by handing over the probe to the state police's Special Task Force (STF) immediately.

The opposition tirade forced Chouhan to announce that if any member of his family was found guilty in the scam, he would leave politics for good.

Later, while disposing of PILs on the issue of Vyapam scam demanding CBI probe into it, the high court decided to monitor the scam directly under its supervision.

However, when Digvijay Singh filed a 'Letter Petition' and subsequently proper petition demanding a CBI probe on the issue, the high court constituted a Special Investigative Team (SIT) to oversee the STF probe.

The Chouhan government got a reprieve on the issue from the Supreme Court when it dismissed Digvijay Singh's petition seeking CBI probe.

A number of persons including a former minister, an IPS officer, prominent doctors and large number of other persons are behind the bars in connection with the scam.

The GIS was attended by top honchos including Ambanis, Adanis, Ruias and other captains of industries.

Modi's participation in the summit and praise of the government's achievements in the field of agriculture, irrigation and power sector was a pat on the back of Chouhan.

In the agriculture sector, Madhya Pradesh created a record by winning the 'Krishi Karman Award' for a third time in a row for food grain production.

Madhya Pradesh hogged the limelight when Bachpan Bachao Andolan activist Satyarthi won the Nobel Peace Prize along with Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai.

Chouhan termed it as a 'matter of pride' not just for Madhya Pradesh but for entire country. Satyarthi hails from Vidisha, a constituency represented by him for five successive terms in the Lok Sabha from 1991-2004.

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