Tuesday, July 14, 2015
The Vyapam Scam and its political Implications
A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books Nearly four years back, I had drawn attention to the Mafiadom prevailing in Madhya Pradesh. The state seems to be in the vice like grip of a criminal gang and the BJP walked into the trap with its eyes wide open and so the political cost is going to be extremely heavy. The problem with the BJP rule is that while the Prime Ministers personal approval rating is still very high, the Party stands diminished before the eyes of the general public. The real reason for the sorry state in which the BJP finds itself in, is due to the lack of intellectual ballast in the kind of politics the party practices. The party hardly finds space for intellectuals and except for the Vivekananda Foundation, there is the same motley crowd that gathered around the Congress is now dancing around the feet of the BJP. The same scamsters who were in business during the rule of the UPA are now back in business and BJP Ministers are now being exposed by the day. Lalith Modi has tarnished the image of the BJP more than any single individuate. It took 10 years for the Congress to become synonymous with corruption. BJP has succeeded in getting the same notoriety in less than a year. And this is unfortunate because Narendra Modi still remains the best bet for India. His Party is failing him. Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh was taunted as a rival or an alternative to Narendra Modi. It is true that in the ten years of his rule the state has witnessed some improvement in the social and economic indicators. However, the Vyapam scam is proving to be the nemesis of the Chief Minister. Vyapam is the acronym for Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal, the autonomous body responsible for conducting the public service examinations and the examinations for the Medical seats in the state. The scam surface in 2009 when more than 100 medical seats were exposed as being acquired through dubious means. The tentacles of those in power was so strong that OMR sheets were replace. Bogus answer sheets were prepared and replaced. All this for a consideration of course. It appears that enormous amounts of money changed hands and the Vyapam Board ensured that the person was selected for the post. The Chief Minister's wife Sadhna Singh's name figures prominently in the list of powerful people and perhaps she is the Mantrani referred to in the Exel Sheets of wrongful recruitment provided by a whistle blower. A scam of this dimension cannot be run without the patronage of those at the very top. In fact the FIR names even the Governor of the state, Ram Naresh Yadava as an accused. The son of the Governor was found dead in mysterious circumstances. The alarming thing about the scam and here the BJP is showing itself to be different from the Congress is the fact that nearly 50 persons associated with the Scam have been killed or died in suspicious circumstances. In the case of the medical student, Namrata Damor the state police tried to make an obvious case of murder appear as a case of suicide. The real issue confronting the party is: Is Shiraj Singh Chouhan involved in the scam. Though no smoking gun has come to light, all circumstantial evidence points out to the tacit consent, if not the active involvement of the Chief Minister. The frequency with which the various mafia groups are able to escape after committing heinous crimes points to a steady fall in the standard of administration. The fact that a senior IPS officer, Narendra Kumar was killed while performing his duties and the state government ensured that the killers went scot free suggests that Shiraj Singh is in cahoots with criminal elements. And so his hand in the Vyapam Scandal is certain. After dithering for over 2 years he has handed over the case to the CBI. I am not sure if the "caged parots" will ensure that the guilty are brought to book.