Government on the right path, at last

It was high time the government in Madhya Pradesh acted further in Vyapam scam

The developments on Tuesday in which the Madhya Pradesh chief minister agreed to ask for a CBI probe and the Supreme Court admitted pleas to look into the Vyapam scam means things have moved somewhat quickly in the longest running mystery the country has seen in a while now. It was high time the ruling party and the government in Madhya Pradesh acted further in this matter since the police themselves admitted there have been 35 deaths since 2010 that have either directly, or somewhat bizarrely, been linked to the scam.

The controversy erupted two years ago with reports of bribes being paid by medical college seat aspirants and impostors being allowed to take the admission test for them even as teachers and doctors were said to have been recruited by the employment of the most dubious means. Having dragged his feet for so long on the count that a SIT probe under the supervision of the MP High Court was underway, the chief minister had a change of heart after the pressures mounted in proportion to the rising body count virtually by the day. Four deaths caused more consternation than many others — that of the son of the governor of the state, a dean of the Jabalpur medical college, his successor and a television journalist — and pricked the national conscience to trigger the demand for a microscopic investigation into this macabre murder drama.

When a former chief minister of the state and Union minister herself said she is feeling afraid after a string of deaths, it was probably time to take a strong political decision regarding the type of probe. There was no getting away from the fact that what had to be done was not being seen to be done in this matter in which there are estimated to be 2,500 accused, of whom around 2,000 are said to be in prison and 500 missing, while the Opposition claims that as many as 75 lakh candidates had paid bribes for seats and jobs.

A scandal of such magnitude, in which money changed hands for so many years, cannot be a non-issue. The fear that the scam would reach not only far into the bureaucracy but also touch many politicians, may have inhibited the decision-making for so long. The probe offering the best chance to get to the bottom of the scam was what was always called for. If the Central agency is not trammelled by extraneous considerations, it can get to the heart of the matter. And with the PMO now asking the Intelligence Bureau for information, it is likely the governments are on the right path at last.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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