Vyapam link: Pradhan’s resignation demanded

Bhubaneswar: With reports suggesting a connection, though a remote one, between the infamous Vyapam scam of Madhya Pradesh and Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Petroleum minister and BJP leader from Odisha, Congress has found another stick to beat the ruling party with.

After a national news channel reported that a 2013 income tax report shows Pradhan’s travel arrangements were paid for by an MP mining baron arrested in the Vyapam jobs scandal, the Opposition party today demanded the former’s resignation.

“Dharmendra Pradhan should step down, and if he doesn’t, the prime minster should ask him to resign immediately,” the channel quoted Congress’ Randeep Singh Surjewala as saying.

Surjewala also reiterated his party’s demand that MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan must resign.

According to the channel, the 2013 document shows that Sudhir Sharma, a billionaire who also runs colleges in Madhya Pradesh and is charged with being one of the prime players in the Vyapam scam, paid for the air tickets and other undefined expenses of top leaders of the BJP, including that of Pradhan, and its ideological parent RSS.

The income tax report is based on the diaries recovered during raids on Sharma and names several politicians, including an MP Congress legislator Veer Singh Bhuria.