New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said he will file a defamation suit against Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday for alleging his family’s involvement in the Vyapam scam and Panama papers cases.
“Mr @RahulGandhi, You have been making patently false allegations of Vyapam to Panama Papers against me and my family. Tomorrow, I am filing a criminal defamation suit for maximum damages against you for frivolous and malafide statements. Let law take its own course now,” Chouhan said in a tweet on Monday, turning up the heat in the poll-bound state.
Mr @RahulGandhiYou have been making patently false allegations of Vyapam to Panama Papers against me and my family.Tomorrow, I am filing a criminal defamation suit for maximum damages against you for frivolous and malafide statements.Let law take its own course now.— ShivrajSingh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) October 29, 2018
As controversy erupted, Gandhi clarified that he didn't mean to say Panama papers. In an interaction with journalists, Gandhi said he got confused "as there are so many scams".
#WATCH BJP mein itna brashtachaar hai ki main kal confuse ho gaya tha. Madhya Pradesh ke CM ne Panama nahi kiya unhone to e tendering aur vyapam scam kiye hain: Rahul Gandhi on his earlier remark that MP CM's son was named in Panama papers. #MadhyaPradesh pic.twitter.com/HOapxZfw6M— ANI (@ANI) October 30, 2018
At an election rally in Indore on Monday, Gandhi had reiterated the allegations, accusing the Chouhan government of pursuing a "dharma of corruption".
Gandhi has alleged that the Chouhan government was involved in the Vyapam scam and also accused it of financial irregularities while organising Simhastha Kumbh in Ujjain in 2016.
"Nearly 50 persons were killed in the aftermath of Vyapam scam. The state's education infrastructure has been finished. They talk of dharma but their dharma is corruption. They did not spare even the Kumbh. There was corruption in (Simhastha) Kumbh...the cost was inflated nearly 10 times. There was a demand for CBI inquiry...but even the CBI Director has been removed by Modi," he said.
At a rally on October 16, Gandhi had alleged that Chouhan's family was involved in the multi-crore-rupee Vyapam scam that came to light a few years ago.
In the past, Chouhan has denied his or his family's involvement in any recruitment test conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, popularly known by its Hindi acronym — "Vyapam" (Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal). The scam also hogged limelight for the death of a number of accused and witnesses.