Bhopal/New Delhi, Jul 15: The CBI has registered three FIRs and formally launched its probe in the Vyapam scam, which generated more political heat, with Congress alleging 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 Classess 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. As the agency got down to cracking the cases related to the scandal involving the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), also known by its Hindi acronym Vyapam, Congress released a document purportedly showing Pradhan and some top BJP and RSS functionaries having received favours from a prime accused.
Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh and Randeep Surjewala released documents at a press conference in Delhi, based on information claimed to have been recovered from a pen drive seized from accused Sudhir Sharma by the Income Tax department.
Sharma, a mining baron considered close to the ruling establishment in MP, was alleged to have made "payments" also to Prabhat Jha, BJP National vice president, his two sons, Suresh Soni, RSS Joint General Secretary and BJP MP Anil Dave. "Complicity of the entire BJP leadership with deep-rooted links to RSS in Vyapam scam is thus writ large.
The only alternative is a Supreme Court-monitored CBI investigation after removing Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister," they said. Besides Chouhan, the Congress leaders also demanded the resignation of Pradhan, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister.