The Vyapam scam is an admission and recruitment scam involving politicians, senior officials and businessmen in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), popularly known by its Hindi acronym “Vyapam” (Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal), is a self-financed and autonomous body incorporated by the State government responsible for conducting several entrance tests in the state.
‘No Regrets’, Says BJP Leader on Vyapa Scam then Clarifies :
These entrance exams are used for recruitment to government jobs and for admissions to educational institutes in the state. The scam involved a collusion of undeserving candidates, who bribed politicians and MPPEB officials through middlemen, to get high ranks in these entrance tests.
Cases of irregularities in these entrance tests had been reported since the mid-1990s, and the first FIR was filed in 2000. However, until 2009, such cases were not thought to be part of an organized ring. When major complaints surfaced in the pre-medical test (PMT) in 2009, the state government established a committee to investigate the matter. The commitee released its report in 2011, and over a hundred people were arrested by the police.
Forty-eight deaths, weeks of national outrage and the Supreme Court ordering a CBI probe into Vyapam scam have failed to temper Madhya Pradesh BJP’s haughtiness. Speaking to reporters on Sunday, state BJP chief Nandkumar Singh Chauhan said, “we’ve no regret over the Vyapam scam.”
Chauhan’s statement came a day before party boss Amit Shah’s arrival in Bhopal on Monday. Shah will kick off BJP’s “Maha Jansampark Abhiyan” (mega mass-contact campaign) to control the raging Vyapam fire.
“Seven lakh students appeared through Vyapam for various examinations and only 2,000 students were found involved in rigging. This is not a big issue. Those responsible for the scam are behind bars,” Chauhan said.
Attacking the Congress, Chauhan further said the party was making false claims and dishing out wrong figures of Vyapam deaths. Only 31 deaths were confirmed officially, he said.
Backing the embattled chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the state BJP chief said, “Shivraj Singh cleaned the system, ordered separate investigation by STF and finally recommended CBI inquiry. He should be lauded.”
In fact, the BJP has instructed its cadre to aggressively confront all the charges against Chouhan. At a special training session conducted by the state additional attorney general, Purushendra Kaurav, the party instructed spokespersons to project the CM as the first whistle-blower of the Vyapam scam.
The party men were coached on technical aspects of the scam, including the number of deaths, suspicious deaths of college deans and professors, and the party’s stand in the Supreme Court.
A similar training was also held in Delhi where party spokespersons were informed about the Vyapam scam. Kaurav said deaths of Jabalpur Medical College deans Dr D K Sakalle and Dr Arun Sharma were unrelated to the Vyapam case, and the Congress claims are a farce.