Bhopal, July 7 (IANS): Bowing to mounting pressure, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday recommended a CBI probe into the Vyapam recruitment scam that has reportedly claimed over 40 lives.
Addressing the media, a grim looking Chouhan said he was dispatching a letter to the Madhya Pradesh High Court requesting that the Central Bureau of Investigation be allowed to probe the scandal.
"In a democracy, the ruler should be above suspicion," he said. "There are questions in people's minds. People want to know the truth. Questions in people's minds have to be answered.
"I bow my head to people's wishes... I am sending a request to the high court that the CBI should be allowed to investigate the case."
Chouhan, however, made it clear that he had full faith in the investigation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) done so far which he underlined was being monitored by the high court.
Answering questions later, he said he had not discussed his decision to go for a CBI probe with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, now on a visit to Central Asia.
He said the opposition had been levelling baseless allegations against him. "They are not bothered about the deaths..."
Tuesday's announcement follows increasing number of deaths of people allegedly linked to the Vyapam scam in one way or the other.
On June 4, Akshay Singh, a television journalist covering the story in Madhya Pradesh, died mysteriously. The next day, a college dean from Madhya Pradesh who was helping the investigators was found dead in his hotel room in Delhi.
And on Monday, a woman police trainee recruited through the state-run Vyavasaik Pariksha Mandal (Vyapam) was found dead in Sagar district though the police denied any link with the scam.
The central government had on Monday rejected calls for a CBI probe into the Vyapam scam.
More than 40 people associated with the admission and recruitment racket in Vyapam have died since 2013 -- either in mysterious circumstances or have committed suicide.