Bhopal: Mastermind of the Vyapam scam Dr Jagdish Sagar has entered the electoral fray in Madhya Pradesh. Sagar has filed nomination papers from Gohad Assembly segment in Bhind district on a Bahujan Samaj Party ticket.
Vyapam is the Hindi acronym for admission and recruitment test conducted for government jobs and admission in MP.
The scam shook the very core of education system in the state Madhya Pradesh. The opposition Congress in its election campaign has targeted the ruling BJP for large scale corruption in Vyapam.
Sagar is seen as the principal architect behind the mega scam. His arrest from a Mumbai hotel in 2013 by Indore crime branch sleuths had blown the lid off the scam.
The community medicine physician is accused of rigging Pre-medical Tests in MP, helping out hundreds of students clear the exam through unfair means.
The kingpin faces BJP minister Lal Singh Arya and Ranveer Jatav, son of late MLA from Bhind Makhanlal Jatav from Gohad assembly seat.
Sagar owns 31 big and small land plots according to the affidavit he filed with the nomination. Well known for maintaining a luxurious life, he has declared movable properties valued at over Rs Rs 1.82 crore, while his wife Sunita Sagar owns movable assets worth Rs 39.29 lakh-plus.
Besides, the Vyapam scamster owns immovable assets worth over Rs 3.78 crore, while better half owns movable assets worth Rs 1.30 crore-plus.
The Enforcement Directorate had attached movable and immovable properties worth Rs 18 crore in Indore and Bhind belonging to Sagar and his wife.
The electoral venture is not surprising for many as Sagar had expressed wish to contest poll from Bhind or field his wife Sunita soon after being arrested by police in 2013. Those in the know have claimed that Sagar had earlier approached the BSP MP unit for a ticket when candidates were being interviewed. Local leaders had reportedly objected to his candidature which was later cleared by the party in Lucknow.
Among criminal cases lodged against him, Sagar in the affidavit has mentioned many cases, including those of Madhya Pradesh Pre Medical Test (MPPMT) scam and a money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Act.
Pradip Ahirwar, the BSP state head, when asked whether it would send a wrong message to public that a man accused in Vyapam has been given ticket, claimed that Sagar had approached the party saying he was targeted and framed just because he belonged to SC community. “So the party officer bearers decided to give him a chance on account of his pleas,” said Ahirwar
“When MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, responsible for the Vyapam scam could contest polls why can’t Dr Sagar do the same,” retorted Ahirwar.