Amid the ongoing tug-of-war between the ruling Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over alleged fraudulent and nepotism in the recently declared results of the Chhattisgarh public service commission (CGPSC) 2021, another fresh row has erupted after the State’s Public Commission has issued a notification for disposal of documents pertaining to PSC examinations.
As per the notification, the Commission has invited the bidders to submit their tenders for procuring unuseful previous year’s question papers, OMR sheets, answers sheets, empty cartoons along with envelopes between June 5 to June 25.
Now after the Commission’s notification, a fresh row has erupted as many BJP leaders in the State are alleging a foul play and citing it as a desperate move of the Chairman to come clean on the records. Raising concerns over the development, senior BJP leader from the State, Gaurishankar Srivas, while taking to Twitter, shared a letter that he wrote to the State’s PSC for cancellation of the tender process.
In the letter to the PSC chairman, Gaurishankar Srivas, while citing the ongoing protest of the students over 2021 results declared by the Commission, has urged that any such step to dispose of the documents pertaining to the exams will not only tarnish the image of the Commission but will also hamper the trust of the students. He further has urged that any attempt to dispose of any documents before a thorough enquiry into the matter will further embolden the doubts raised.
In addition to the letter, Gaurishankar Srivas has also filed as many as 5 RTIs soughting details related to the 2021 examination conducted by the State’s PSC. In the RTIs filed, Gaurishankar Srivas has sought for a list of relatives of PSC Chairman Sonwani selected in the 2021 examination alongside a list of officers involved in interviewing candidates and answer sheets of the top 20 successful candidates.
Speaking with the Organiser representative, Gaurishankar Srivas said that “the PSC chairman is set to retire in September, and the notification issued by the Commission is nothing but a desperate attempt of his to come clean on records before his retirement. We already have gathered a lot of evidence on the issue, and if any investigation shall be conducted we will disclose everything in front of the investigative agency.”
“A number of students who have qualified the exams were neither seen in any coaching institutes nor in any library. They even don’t have any social media accounts. They were provided with the question papers in advance; otherwise, given the standard of the question papers, it is not even possible for those to crack the exams who are preparing for as many as ten years”, quoted further Gaurishankar Srivas.
“We have spoken to a number of students and have some crucial evidence, though given the risk involved, we are not comfortable sharing it publicly for now. All we want is a Central Government agency to investigate the matter. There are also a few State Government officials who are involved in this scam. Therefore only a Central Government agency can investigate it fairly”, concluded Gaurishankar Srivas.
It is to be noted that earlier, an anonymous post about alleged fraud in Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission had also stormed the political galleries after it went viral on social media.
In the viral post, the user who had introduced himself as a CGPSC aspirant claimed that a few acquaintances of one of his casual friends were well aware of the questions of the mains papers way before the exams conducted by the Commission.
In his ordeal in the post, the user had claimed that one of his casual friends with whom he used to share notes while preparing for the CGPSC exam was in touch with a few aspirants who had contacts with a few senior officers and politicians.
The user claimed that those acquaintances of his friends were well-indulged in drugs. However, when in May 2022, he visited his casual friend’s room, he found that his friend was busy finding answers to a few questions sent by those acquaintances.
On enquiring about the questions, his friend replied that his friends had cracked the pre-examination and were preparing for the mains examination.
Astonished by the fact that a few drug addicts had cracked the CGPSC pre, which was otherwise hard to get through given the standard of the pre-paper held in 2021, the user returned to his room. However, to much of his surprise the same questions were asked by the Commission in the mains examination held later on.
The user had further claimed that when the Commission finally declared the mains result, that casual friend of his informed him that two of his acquaintances had cracked the exam and become officers. Astonished by the news, the user scrolled through the list of successful candidates only to find out that both of them are in the top-30.
The anonymous user further stated that he is keeping his name secret as he is aware of the consequences given the involvement of the powerful people in the whole process. He further claimed that while enquiring more about the selection process of those acquaintances, his casual friend disclosed a few astonishing pieces of information that he couldn’t share due to security issues.
After the post went viral on social media, the State’s Opposition BJP had its all guns blazing on the Bhupesh Baghels led Government as its youth wing launched a statewide protest against the alleged nepotism and fraud in the examination held in 2021.
Further, senior leaders of the party, including former IAS O P Chaudhary, while raising objections to the process, had demanded that a retired Judge should investigate the whole selection process.
Another senior leader Kedarnath Gupta while lashing out at the Government, had also claimed that “The top 20 list includes the names of sons/daughters of politicians and business tycoons, which is quite rare in the CGPSC history where earlier people from the ordinary background used to make their mark, so prima facie it looks like that the selections of the candidates have been made in pressure which has ultimately led to the disqualification of the deserving candidates.
The party leader had further also raised doubt on the silence of the Commission on the whole controversy and claimed “that a couple of selected candidates are relatives of the Chairman itself, one of them is on the 7th rank whose surname was hidden, the Commission itself is on backfoot, the whole selection process is an injustice to the deserving and talented youths of Chhattisgarh, the Commission should cancel the result and a re-exam should be conducted.
It is to be noted that the State’s Public Service Commission has been on the receiving end after it declared the list of successful candidates of CGPSC 2021 in April this year. The list includes relatives of a few Congress leaders, senior bureaucrats, along with seasoned businessmen. The list also includes one ‘Nitesh’ whose surname has also been kept hidden; he is said to be the adopted son of the Commission’s Chairman, Tamam Sonwani.