By Abhishek Jha:
In a fresh allegation against Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, whistleblower Anand Rai filed an affidavit before the Indore bench of High Court of M.P., alleging that the Chief Minister tried to broker a deal with him. The affidavit says that he was summoned by the Chief Minister at his residence on 11th August, and the meeting, arranged by a common friend, took place between 9.45 pm and 10.50 pm. The affidavit alleges that Chouhan assured Rai that he and his wife will be allowed to remain at Indore and their transfers would be cancelled. “Chief Minster also assured that he will instruct the Advocate General Office to give this in writing before the High Court,” the affidavit says. The court has asked the state to reply to the affidavit within a week.
Rai had been transferred from Indore, where he was on deputation at the health department’s training institute, to Dhar district, on July 20. He had alleged at that time that this was part of a vendetta against him since he had only recently (on July 17) lodged a complaint with the CBI against BJP leader and former Union Minister Vikram Verma. His wife Gouri, also a government doctor, had been suspended in the month of July for taking child care leave. Though her suspension was later revoked, she was transferred to Ujjain.
The transfers become significant as the Vyapam scam has opened a Pandora’s Box, with several such admission scams being uncovered such as the Dental Medical Admission Test (DMAT) scam . Yogesh Uprit, a former director of Vyapam, who was arrested in June in relation to the scam, had alleged that almost all entrance exams have been rigged since 2006. Prashant Pandey, another whistleblower, had alleged earlier that the Special Task Force working on the case had tampered with some documents to remove the Chief Minister’s name. Last month the CBI pleaded before the Supreme Court to be relieved of the DMAT scam, as it appeared to be “many more times than the Vyapam scam“, and CBI did not have the manpower to handle it.
Dr. Rai said that Chouhan offered him the post of a nodal officer for the public grievance redress system in the health division. “The state hoped that after the offer I would mellow down my campaign, but they are wrong,” he said. However, S K Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, has denied that any offer was made, according to a report.