Vyapam scam: Congress bandh evokes mixed response
The Congress is demanding Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister’s resignation on moral ground due to the Vyapam scam, which is linked with allegations of large-scale irregularities by the State Professional Examination Board, also called Vyapam, in conducting the entrance examination for medical colleges and recruitment of contractual teachers and transport and other government employees.
As the day progressed, Congress activists led by the state party leaders had fanned out to make the bandh successful in the State capital and cities like Ujjain, Indore, Neemuch, Ratlam, Gwalior and Jabalpur. In big cities, the response to the bandh was partial as most trades and shopkeepers chose to keep their business establishments and shops open.
According to reports received here, there was a confrontation between the Congress and BJP workers in Indore. Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly Satyadev Katare later accused the Indore police of siding with the BJP workers.
Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said that those opposed to the Vyapam scam had extended full support to the Congress call for bandh. According to him, only those supporting the scam had kept their establishments open.
The Supreme Court on 9 July transferred the Vyapam case to the CBI. When the petition by Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh and a few whistle blowers for tyransferring the case to the CBI came up for hearing before the Supreme Court, the State Gvoernment also moved an application requesting that the CBI be handed over this case. Vyapam case hit the headlines recently after several persons, including witnesses had died under mysterious circumstances. The lid was off due to the sudden death of Delhi based senior TV journalist Akshay Singh. He had gone to Jhabua in western Madhya Pradesh to interview the father of Namrata Damor, a student of Government MGM Medical College in Indore, who was also linked to the Vyapam scam and was found dead on a railway track in Ujjain.
Many senior Vyapam functionaries, former State Education minister Laxmikant Sharma and his OSD, a former OSD to the State Governor have already been arrested and are facing trial in this case. An FIR was also registered in the same case against State Governor Ram Naresh Yadav but it was withdrawn on orders of the Jabalpur High Court.