The VYAPAM investigation is being delayed because the central government has asked the CBI to go slow until the Bihar polls are over. This allegation was made by the whistleblowers in the scam in an exclusive conversation with The Quint on the sidelines of a press conference in the national capital.
Whistleblowers Paras Saklecha and Ajay Dubey have alleged that the CBI is being asked to drag its feet on the issue in order to safeguard the image of the BJP ahead of the Bihar polls. Saklecha told The Quint:
Modi says there is jungle-raj in the state of Bihar but what about Shivraj’s VYAPAM in MP? Why is the PM silent? The CBI is being asked to delay the probe so that the BJP does not lose face ahead of the Bihar polls. This is all being done in the shadow of the Bihar polls. CBI is acting like a caged parrot again. But we will go and campaign in Bihar, we will distribute copies of my book on VYAPAM to tell voters about BJP’s VYAPAM scam in MP.
— Paras Saklecha, Whistleblower and Former MLA from MP to The Quint
On 31 July, the Supreme Court had asked the CBI to take over the VYAPAM probe and had also directed the CBI to complete the take over of the case in three weeks’ time. Ajay Dubey told The Quint:
There are 215 FIRs in the VYAPAM Scam with a list of 2,600 accused in the case. While the CBI claims they have taken over 107 FIRs, what they have actually done is its translation from Hindi to English. These are all delaying tactics. 78 FIRs still remain to be touched. The CBI is deliberately delaying taking the handover from the Madhya Pradesh Special Task Force (STF).
— Ajay Dubey, Whistleblower to The Quint
Earlier during the press conference, VYAPAM whistleblowers launched a pointed attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan. They questioned why the PM, while addressing a gathering in Bhopal before inaugurating the three-day Vishwa Hindi Sammelan (World Hindi Conference) remained silent on the VYAPAM issue which is a political hot potato in the state.The whistleblowers also raised several questions over the release of DMAT and VYAPAM scam accused Yogesh Uprit.
The whistleblowers also raised several questions over the release of DMAT and VYAPAM scam accused Yogesh Uprit who had allegedly confessed that every successive Health Minister under CM Shivraj Chouhan was paid a bribe of 10 crore rupees. No chargesheet was filed against Uprit in the 90-day custody period and he has been granted bail.
In addition, Saklecha and Dubey alleged that the Chief Minister is trying to scuttle the VYAPAM investigation. Whistle blower, Dr. Anand Rai has submitted an affidavit before the Madhya Pradesh High court, stating that on 11 August 2015, he was summoned to the residence of the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan at 10:50 pm and was asked to stop the VYAPAM and DMAT expose campaign. Rai alleges that the CM said if he fell in line, his wife and his transfer from Indore would be stopped.
To prevent matters from coming to a boil in the state, the whistleblowers also allege that the MP government has recommended the names of 20 state level officers to the central services, all of whom are all politically connected, corrupt, influential and linked with the VYAPAM scam.
There was no notification for these nominations. Among the names, there is one Shamimuddin, who is a direct accused in VYAPAM.
These nominations are being made in secrecy to buy the silence of these officers and reward them for being accomplices in VYAPAM. All these names are from Bhopal, why is there no representation from other parts of the stare? The CM is nervous and wants to scuttle the evidence before the CBI swings into action.
— Ajay Dubey, Whistleblower.