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Exam scam: Records fudged to shield Shivraj, claims Congress

Chief Minister Shivaraj Singh Chouhan dismissed the charges, saying the “Congress allegations are baseless”.

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE: In the ‘recommended by’ column, ‘CM’ has been replaced by ‘UmaBhartiji’. SPOT THE DIFFERENCE: In the ‘recommended by’ column, ‘CM’ has been replaced by ‘UmaBhartiji’.

Congress leaders on Monday turned up the heat on the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh by releasing details of an Excel sheet maintained by an accused which allegedly exposes attempts to mask the Chief Minister’s links to the Vyapam admission and recruitment scandal.

Claiming that they had received “original evidence” from an unnamed source, the leaders alleged that at 48 slots in the Excel sheet, the word “CM” was allegedly replaced with “UmaBhartiji” in seven, “Minister” in 21, and with “M/s” and “Rajbhawan” in one each — in 18 slots, they added, the word was deleted altogether.

At a press conference held in Bhopal, Digvijaya Singh, Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia said they had met the Special Investigation Team (SIT) looking into the controversy to present “proof” to support their allegations against the Special Task Force (STF) investigating the scam.

 

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Chief Minister Shivaraj Singh Chouhan dismissed the charges, saying the “Congress allegations are baseless”.

Digvijaya Singh, meanwhile, told The Indian Express that the Congress was planning to hand over the “evidence” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We are thinking of meeting the Prime Minister to hand over the evidence. It is important to recollect that he had repeatedly said on the issue of corruption that he will neither eat nor let anybody else eat. Now, he has to prove that he means business,” Singh said.

The Congress leaders were accompanied at the press conference by senior Supreme Court lawyers, K T S Tulsi and Vivek Tankha, who had asked for the case to be referred to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). “The identity of the source would be disclosed at an appropriate time,” Tankha said.

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The Indian Express had reported on Sunday that the Congress leadership would approach the SIT on the issue. The STF is assisting the SIT in the investigations.

At the centre of the controversy is the Excel sheet recovered from the computer of senior system analyst Nitin Mohindra, working with Vyapam, the Hindi synonym for Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, an autonomous body that conducts recruitment and admission tests to various posts and professional courses.

Officials said investigations have established that proxies appeared in the examinations conducted by Vyapam with the help of board officials and middlemen.

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The Congress has alleged that “the hard disk from which the deleted data was retrieved was from the personal laptop of Nitin Mohindra not from the office computer/ desktop of Nitin Mohindra. The chargesheet submitted by the STF mentions that the deleted data was retrieved from the office computer of Nitin Mohindra”.

The representation by Digvijaya Singh to the SIT also alleges that the STF had made former Education Minister O P Laxmikant Sharma a “scapegoat” by replacing “Minister-3”, “Minister-2” and “Minister-4” with “Minister”.

Sharma was arrested earlier after his name appeared on the Excel sheet.

The Congress also demanded that the SIT “call for original Call Details Records, SMSs and E-mails of the prime accused persons from the service providers/BSNL as the CDRs submitted by the STF are tampered with to shield (the) Chief Minister and his family”.

Apart from Minister Sharma, his Officer on Special Duty O P Shukla, former examination controller Pankaj Trivedi and mining baron Sudhir Sharma have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the scam by the STF which has registered cases against 129 people.

First published on: 17-02-2015 at 03:12:29 am
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