By Anindya Banerjee
Bhopal/New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) After blowing the lid of one of the biggest medical scandals of Madhya Pradesh, Vyapam whistleblower Anand Rai has taken the center stage, once again. Though his target remains the same — Shivraj Singh Chauhan, but this time the battle is over the newly formed task force for COVID-19 which according to Rai’s claims — looks more an effort to “win bye-election votes”.
“Head of the PSM department who would have a holistic knowledge on infectious disease or for that matter Sanjay Dixit, the dean of Ratlam Medical College could have been inducted in the task force on COVID-19. They would liaison with WHO or the UNICEF…
“But this task force looks more political in nature. This is not an effort to create a group to win a bye-election. This is the time to save the state,” claimed Rai.
According to him, doctors and health experts with excellent knowledge in the field of medicine and intensive care units should also have found space in the task force.
“Bhopal and Indore are staring into a bleak future. I am warning that if action is not taken today, rising above politics, it will become a herculean task for you (Shivraj Singh Chauhan) to save Madhya Pradesh,” added Rai.
Madhya Pradesh has seen a total of 604 cases related to coronavirus, so far, out of whom 42 succumbed.
Demanding a reorganization of the COVID-19 task force, the former Vyapam whistleblower demanded experts and eminent doctors should find a place in the task force, even if they are ideologically or politically inclined towards BJP.
The Madhya Pradesh unit of the BJP constituted a COVID-19 task force of 11 senior state leaders, on Monday evening. Apart from Chief Minister Chauhan, BJP state President Vishnu Dutt Sharma is also there. Sharma is made the Convenor of the much talked about task force. Apart from them, Jyotiraditya Scindia’s close confidante Tulsiram Silawat, who was health minister in the Kamal Nath cabinet finds a place there. Silawat was instrumental in bringing down the Congress government in the state.
Earlier on Monday, former CM Kamal Nath pointed out that since March 23, the day Chouhan took oath, the MP government is yet to get a cabinet. “It is akin to making a joke of the people,” Kamal Nath said.
Anand Rai locked horns with the administration for the first time during the alleged Vyapam scam that took place in 2013. Rai blew the whistle on the “Scam”, which involved the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (Vyabsayik Pariksha Mandal or Vyapam) and a number of tests it conducted for recruitment to government jobs. It was alleged that unfair means were used in the exam and many used impersonators. The SIT said that 23 people related to the scam died due to ‘unnatural causes’.
Now years later, the whistleblower has returned once again to question Shivraj Singh Chauhan for its composition of the COVID-19 task force.