BJP Leader Shanta Kumar Breaks Rank, Writes To Amit Shah About Vyapam 'Shame'

21/07/2015 10:40 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
NARINDER NANU via Getty Images
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in charge of Punjab's affairs, Shanta Kumar (C), attends a meeting with a delegation from the industrial sector at a hotel in Amritsar on May 19, 2012. Kumar visited the city to hear about any problems in manufacturing and industry. AFP PHOTO/ NARINDER NANU (Photo credit should read NARINDER NANU/AFP/GettyImages)

NEW DELHI -- While the Bharatiya Janata Party has closed ranks to defend its senior leaders ahead of the monsoon session in parliament, its veteran leader Shanta Kumar has expressed his distress at the scandals which have rocked the party in recent months.

"Fingers are pointing at us from Rajasthan to Maharashtra," Kumar, the former chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, who is serving his fourth term in the Lok Sabha, wrote in a letter to BJP president Amit Shah on July 10.

"The Vyapam scam has in Madhya Pradesh has caused all of us to bow our heads in shame," he wrote. "The BJP worker is walking with his head bowed down."

Vyapam is a massive scam which involves politicians and government officials allowing impostors to take exams for government jobs in Madhya Pradesh, and manipulating results, in exchange of vast sums of money. Scores of people connected with scam have died in mysterious circumstances since 2010.

The Congress Party has demanded the resignations of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and the union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan over the Vyapam scam.

In Rajasthan, the state's chief minister Vasundhara Raje stands accused of backing the immigration application of fugitive Lalit Modi, who is being investigated for money laundering related to the Indian Premier League cricket tournament. Raje extended her assistance in 2011 when she was Leader of the Opposition on the condition that it would be hidden from the Indian government.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has admitted that she helped the former IPL commissioner obtain travel documents from the British authorities, last year.

In Maharashtra, lawmaker Pankaja Munde has been accused of awarding contracts worth Rs. 206 crore for purchasing items like chikki, mats and books for children, without inviting tenders.

The 80-year-old leader posted the letter on his Twitter account and Facebook page one day before the 2015 Monsoon session which kicks off today amidst the Congress Party's vows to block proceedings unless BJP senior leaders involved in the Lalit Modi scandal and Vyapam scam resign.

The senior lawmaker suggested that a ethic committees should be set up at the central and state level, which should be staffed with "experienced party members who have never compromised on their values."

"The politics of India today is of cunning, selfishness and only for votes. The politics of serving the nation is seen very less. Our party is the only hope and if we are not successful then history will never forgive us," he said.

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