Shivraj Singh Chouhan spoke to journalists at Bhopal airport after his return from Delhi on July 9. Excerpts from the interaction:
How do you react to the CBI inquiry in the Vyapam scam?
I am feeling very relaxed today. I thank the Supreme Court. Though the High Court-monitored inquiry was progressing well, bowing before the people’s wishes, I have earlier requested the Jabalpur High Court for a CBI inquiry. Yet, some questions have been raised and the Congress has levelled very dirty charges against me and attacked me below the belt. They created an environment of confusion saying that Madhya Pradesh has become a state of murders.
Certain personal charges have been levelled against you.
I wanted the CBI investigation not only in the interest of justice of Vyapam, but also to clear me personally from the charges and questions raised against me. I am glad that the apex court has appreciated our stand and agreed to our demand of CBI inquiry. I request the CBI to start the inquiry as soon as possible. I want the entire truth to come out as soon as possible.
The Congress is demanding your resignation after the Supreme Court order.
The Congress demands my resignation three times a day. It is suffering from Shivraj-phobia. I am hurt that they have defamed the entire state to put me in the dock. If they have a grudge against me, they should have taken revenge against me. Why have they insulted and defamed the whole state? Why are they saying “don’t go to Madhya Pradesh or you will face trouble?” I am surprised that these statements came from a person [Digvijaya Singh] who was chief minister for ten years. Probably this is why nobody takes him seriously. I am happy that the honourable Supreme Court has agreed to the CBI inquiry and truth will be out soon.
Certain deaths have been reported to be suspicious.
With the CBI investigation, all questions will be cleared. Each death would be probed by the CBI. It was a load on my heart. After the announcement of the investigation, I am feeling relaxed. I met the family of reporter Akshay Singh, I saw the condition of his mother and sister. My heart cried, it was a huge pressure on me. I wanted the truth of his death to come out. My life has been a transparent one. My capital has been my service to the people of Madhya Pradesh and the love they showered on me. I am happy that the investigation will bring out the truth.
There are so many high-profile beneficiaries of the Vyapam scam.
The investigation into Vyapam was initiated by me. When I started this inquiry, it was a kind of agnipariksha [trial by fire] for me. Had I wanted so, this scam would not have been investigated. Some people said the inquiry should be of the present crimes and why go back. But my conscience said if an investigation was being done, it should be complete in all aspects. I could garner the courage to initiate this inquiry against the system and allow it to be taken to its logical conclusion.