Describing the spate of deaths linked to the Vyapam scam as “cold-blooded murders”, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday said the Trinamool Congress would raise the issue during the upcoming Monsoon Session of the Parliament and demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe.
“The TMC will raise its voice against Vyapam scam in Parliament. I strongly condemn the incident. It should be investigated under the monitoring of the Supreme Court,” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in reaction to the scandal that has caused a national outrage.
She added: “While Trinamool Congress believed in federal structure of governance and under normal circumstances would not like the Centre to intervene in state matters but this is one case in which as a gesture of good intention, the Centre should try and expose the culprits.”
“It is not merely a law and order issue. It is something bigger than that. So many killings have taken place. Many are involved. These are cold-blooded murders,” Mamata said.
Asked if she would demand a CBI probe into the massive scam, the chief minister said that since she knew the fate of CBI probes into Netai massacre, Nandigram firing and Tagore’s Nobel medallion theft, she would prefer an investigation that is monitored by the apex court. “The incident has crossed all limits. We only want the truth to come out,” she said.
TMC Rajya Sabha MP and party’s national spokesperson Derek O’Brien echoed similar views.
“We are deeply concerned over the series of deaths including those of journalists, educationists and others. In these circumstances, we think it is appropriate that the Supreme Court takes suo moto action and orders an appropriate probe to be monitored by it. This is the only way the truth will come out,” O’Brien said in a statement.
Several TMC leaders who did not want to be quoted said the party’s stand carefully avoids any reference to a CBI probe, a demand raised by everyone, including the families of the accused or witnesses in the scam who have died under mysterious circumstances. Leaders say the avoidance primarily stems from the CM’s “total loss of trust and confidence” in CBI-monitored probes.
Unlike the TMC’s total silence on the Vasundhara Raje-Sushma Swaraj-Lalit Modi controversy, which party insiders say was an issue it did not deem fit to “indulge” in, its quick response to the Vyapam scam is an attempt to avoid an embarrassing situation after the state government had to cancel the ITI entrance tests and defer it to July 5 after question papers were allegedly leaked.
Mamata had ordered a CID probe into the incident.