New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s request for a CBI probe into the Vyapam scam came after worries among the BJP leadership that a series of scams in the states ruled by the party were denting the image of the Narendra Modi government.
Bharatiya Janata Party sources told IANS that Chouhan’s change of mind came after some hard talk by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who convinced him that a CBI probe would help ward off the negative image the BJP was gaining on account of the Vyapam scam and other issues.
“After a series of corruption charges against BJP chief ministers and ministers in the last one month, a public perception was building that BJP leaders were indulging in corruption. This was denting the image of the Modi government. To counter this image, the BJP leadership had to take certain strong decisions,” a senior party leader told IANS on condition of anonymity.
According to sources, the decision of launching a CBI investigation into the Vyapam scandal was taken after Rajnath Singh held talks with BJP president Amit Shah over phone late on Monday from Madhya Pradesh and then convinced Chouhan.
In the begining of June, former IPL chief Lalit Modi’s links with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje kicked off a political storm, with the Congress demanding their resignations.
The BJP is facing the heat of corruption charges since then.
Lalit Modi is facing cases of alleged tax evasion.
The BJP-led governments in Maharashtra and Chattisgarh have also come under severe attack. Three Maharashtra ministers have faced corruption charges within just one week.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh was also under attack for a corruption scam in the public distribution system in the state.
After every charge, the BJP leadership had thrown its weight behind its chief ministers and ministers. But the Vyapam scam has been different. It is becoming mysterious day by day and a public perception is building against the BJP, party sources said.
Before these corruption charges, the BJP-led NDA government was celebrating its one year in office. BJP leaders, and ministers had claimed that Modi’s first year was “corruption free”.