In a significant development, Chief Minister (CM) Vishnu Deo Sai led Chhattisgarh government in its first cabinet meeting after the distribution of the ministries decided to initiate a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the alleged Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission (CGPSC) 2021 examination scam.
The Chhattisgarh government has decided that it will ask the CBI to begin an extensive probe into the complaint of irregularities in State services examination 2021. The decision has been made in the interest of the students, informed the Chief Minister Office (CMO) Chhattisgarh in a detailed post on social media platform X.
मुख्यमंत्री श्री विष्णु देव साय की अध्यक्षता में आज यहां मंत्रालय महानदी भवन में मंत्रिपरिषद की बैठक आयोजित हुई। बैठक में महत्वपूर्ण निर्णय लिए गए जो निम्नानुसार हैं-
1. राज्य के युवाओं के हित में राज्य शासन द्वारा छत्तीसगढ़ लोक सेवा आयोग द्वारा आयोजित राज्य सेवा परीक्षा-2021 के…
— CMO Chhattisgarh (@ChhattisgarhCMO) January 3, 2024
The decision taken by the cabinet is a much-awaited development, as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the run-up to the State assembly election had promised to begin a probe and send the culprits of the alleged scams behind bars if voted to power.
The development occurred a month after the BJP made an impressive comeback to power with a thumping majority, winning 54 seats in the 90-seat assembly, ending its five-year drought. Several leaders of the party, including the finance minister of the mineral-rich State OP Chaudhary, had earlier, after taking the oath, also called for an extensive inquiry into the matter.
Earlier, several senior leaders of the BJP, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, trained guns at the previous Congress government in the election campaign, alleging that wide-scale irregularities had occurred in the PSC examination.
Allegation of Irregularities
It is to be noted that the State’s Public Service Commission landed in deep waters after it declared the list of successful candidates for CGPSC 2021 in April last year. The list includes relatives of a few congress leaders, senior bureaucrats, along with seasoned businessmen. The list also includes one ‘Nitesh’ whose surname was also kept hidden; later it was claimed that the said candidate is the adopted son of the then Commission’s Chairman, Tamam Sonwani.
Adding fuel to the fire, a post by an anonymous PSC aspirant on social media further stormed the state’s political galleries after the aspirants made serious allegations about the selection process of the candidates and claimed that a couple of drug addicts also got selected in the examination.
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 main papers, way before the exam was conducted by the commission.
After the claims made by the aspirant went viral on social media, which garnered support from other aspirants claiming similar irregularities, the State’s main opposition BJP launched a state-wide protest against the then Bhupesh Baghel’s-led Congress government. The party’s youth wing, along with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) too had hit the streets and demonstrated aggressive protests against the alleged nepotism and fraud in the examination held in 2021.
Further, senior leaders of the party, including the then State President Arun Sao, and former IAS OP Chaudhary, while raising objections on the process, had also demanded that a retired judge investigate the whole selection process.
The state-wide demonstration against the alleged scam further inspired another BJP leader and former minister, Nanhki Ram Kanwar, who filed a petition in the high court demanding action against the selection of as many as 18 candidates.
Hearing on the petition, the division bench of Bilaspur High Court, while halting the appointments of as many as 18 candidates whose selection has been questioned by the petitioner, sought an explanation from the PSC. The court, during the hearing, further observed that the selection of all these candidates was too much of a coincidence.