15/07/2015 6:43 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Vyapam Scam: Congress Party Demands Resignation Of Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

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NEW DELHI -- On the same day that the Central Bureau of Investigation initiated its probe into the Vyapam scam by filing its first FIRs, the Congress Party accused several leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of sharing the "ill-gotten money soiled in the blood of innocents."

Citing an internal report of the Income Tax department, the Congress Party today accused Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan of "availing an air ticket" from Sudhir Sharma, the "kingpin" of the Vyapam scam, and demanded his resignation.

At a press conference in New Delhi, Congress Party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala alleged that RSS leader Suresh Soni, BJP Vice President Prabhat Jha, and BJP lawmaker A Dave had also received money from the billionaire mining baron.

"Vyapam's ill-gotten money soiled in the blood of innocents, which has put a question mark on the future of lakhs and lakhs of children and young people, was being shared to meet the expenses of various political leaders," he said.

Vyapam is a massive scam which involves politicians and government officials allegedly allowing impostors to take exams for government jobs in Madhya Pradesh, in exchange of vast sums of money. At least 40 people connected with scam have died since 2010.

The Congress Party called for a "fair, impartial and independent probe to do justice to 49 families," and demanded the resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi is launching 'Skill India' but Madhya Pradesh witnessed 'kill India'," said the Congress leaders at the press conference.

"It has now been established that he has misled the house, he has misled people, he has misled everyone involved by taking different stances, speaking different languages at different times," said Surjewala.

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