BHOPAL: The day-long statewide bandh called by Madhya Pradesh Congress today began with party General Secretary Digvijay Singh and state unit President Arun Yadav demanding Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's resignation over the Vyapam scam.
Yadav, along with Congress workers, reached Digvijay's house in Shyamla Hills from where the duo went on a motorcycle towards various city areas in support of the bandh call. Singh drove the motorcycle to some distance and later got into his four-wheeler. State Congress unit's chief spokesman K K Mishra claimed that the "bandh was highly successful and people have supported it overwhelmingly."
The Congressmen also gave roses to people with a request to support the bandh. Heavy security was deployed in all major cities of the state to prevent any untoward incident, a senior police official said. However, Madhya Pradesh BJP's media in-charge Dr Hitesh Bajpai said the Congress' claim of bandh was "totally hollow as markets in the state normally open after 11 AM."
The bandh was not supported by a section of Muslim community as it was called on the eve of Eid festival. "Congress should have organised the bandh after Eid. At this crucial time we make purchases for Eid celebration," a senior journalist from the minority community said.
He said the shutdown was just a day ahead of Bohra community's Eid on July 17 and his Eid too is falling on July 18 or July 19, he added. Meanwhile, some businessmen put up posters against the bandh at some places in the busy Chowk bazaar and also posted advertisements in newspapers to protest the closure call. The CBI had yesterday registered three FIRs and formally launched its probe in the high-profile Vyapam scam.
The Congress yesterday alleged that an accused in the scandal extended favours to Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and other BJP and RSS leaders, a charge denied by them. The CBI team, which has been camping in Bhopal for the last two days, registered three cases in connection with the massive rigging of examinations for recruitment in government jobs and admissions in educational institutions, naming among others a member of Madhya Pradesh Backward Classes and Minorities Commission member and his son.
The premier investigating agency also launched a probe into the "mysterious" deaths of five persons associated with the scam.