A day after the CBI filed an FIR against him in the Vyapam scam, the BJP on Thursday suspended from the party its leader and member of the Madhya Pradesh Backward Class and Minority Welfare Commission, Gulab Singh Kirar.
Kirar had last attended a meeting of the Commission more than six months ago. Chairman of the Commission, Mahadev Varma, said the government will take a call on Kirar’s membership.
Kirar, who enjoys a minister of state rank, was also named an accused by the SIT, Gwalior, a year ago in the same case. While the party ignored the allegations back then, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan shared stage with him at Raisen in March this year.
In the police records, Kirar and his son — Dr Shakti Pratap Singh — are both accused of alleged irregularities in the medical entrance examination case.
The Gwalior police had even announced a cash reward on Shakti Pratap, who allegedly topped the pre-PG medical examination in 2011. The complaint was filed by Gwalior-based whistleblower Ashish Chaturvedi.
Kirar is also the national president of the organisation which represents the Kirar community, to which even the Madhya Pradesh CM belongs. He was the chief guest at a community function in Raisen that Chouhan attended as the CM. After the allegations first surfaced, the Congress had accused the state police of going soft on him because of his proximity to the CM.
Reacting to the development on Thursday, Congress spokesperson K K Mishra said the party’s stand against Kirar had been vindicated by the ruling party’s decision to suspend him.
Meanwhile, the bandh called by the Congress to press for CM’s resignation in wake of the CBI probe evoked a partial response across Madhya Pradesh.
The Opposition party, however, accused the BJP of unleashing government machinery in a bid to scuttle the bandh. The party alleged that at several places police forced shops to stay open for business.
The day began with local newspapers carrying full-page advertisements from traders critical of the bandh call, arguing that the main demand for a CBI probe had already been accepted.
The advertisements said that forcing owners to keep their shops closed ahead of Eid was irrational and unwarranted.
The BJP, however, claimed the bandh was a total flop and people had once again rejected the Opposition party’s false propaganda against the BJP government.