BHOPAL:Just four months short of completing 10 years in office, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had to spent sleepless night before taking a political decision in one of the worst crises faced by his government. Quoting an oft repeated political quote of yore, ‘loktantra loklaaj she Chalta hai’(democracy is run on public opinion), Chouhan ordered a CBI inquiry into the Vyapam scam and the multiple deaths associated with it.
Chouhan claimed that he was a sensitive man, saddened by the deaths, before announcing the decision to request the Bhopal High Court for a CBI inquiry into the scam. “I have full faith in the inquiry currently conducted under the monitoring of High Court, but as questions were raised and people have a right to know, I am requesting a CBI inquiry,” the CM told a hastily convened presser at the State Secretariat here. “Loktantra loklaaj se Chalta hai (democracy is run on public opinion),” he said, adding that he always upheld transparency.
The three-time Chief Minister took the decision after contemplating it overnight, he said. Even though, his party and senior leaders had claimed barely 24 hours earlier that the courts had already rejected a plea for a CBI inquiry. However, pressure mounted on the state government after a series of deaths last week, including that of a TV journalist that brought the scam to the national level.
The decision to request investigation by the Central agency came, even as the Supreme Court was to decide on multiple petitions seeking a CBI inquiry into the sensational scam on July 9. Chouhan will complete 10 years as Chief Minister in November, bypassing the previous record of Digvijay Singh, who had earlier been in office for 10 years.
Even as he accused the Opposition Congress of trying to tarnish his image through misleading allegations, Chouhan chose not to comment on the apprehensions expressed by Union Minister Uma Bharthi, saying he had always respected her even when she was not in the BJP. He denied that he had consulted Prime Minister Narendra Modi before taking the decision on the CBI probe. Chouhan had met home minister Rajnath Singh on Monday. The decision on a CBI probe was discussed at the meeting, sources said.