Congress president Rahul Gandhi Wednesday alleged the "family" of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was involved in the Vyapam scam and said he was ready to face defamation cases for his remarks.
The scam was unearthed in Madhya Pradesh in 2013 and allegedly involved government officials and politicians.
Reacting to the allegations levelled by the Congress chief, a senior leader of the BJP state unit said he was misleading the people.
Addressing an election rally here, Gandhi said, "The chief minister got angry yesterday (Monday) and said Rahul Gandhi was speaking about Vyapam. He (CM) said he would file a defamation suit. File as many as cases as you want, it doesn't make any difference."
The Congress, which has been out of power in the state since 2003, was consistently raising the Vyapam scam to target the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state which was going to polls on November 28.
"File cases against me... You cannot run away from the truth. Entire Madhya Pradesh knows about corruption in e-tendering and that 50 people were murdered in the Vyapam scam," he alleged.
Earlier in the day, Kartikey Chouhan, the son of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, filed a criminal defamation case against the Congress chief who alleged that Kartikeya's name had figured in the Panama Papers.
Gandhi, who had made these comments during an election rally in Jhabua Monday, said he had got "confused" and the Madhya Pradesh chief minister's son had no link to the Panama Papers case.
Continuing his attack on Chouhan, Gandhi said the Vyapam scam has "ruined" the future (of youths) of Madhya Pradesh.
"If tribal youths don't have money they cannot clear an examination because one has to pay lakhs to the friends of the CM. Everybody knows that those who used to ride a motorcycle are now travelling in private planes," he alleged.
Gandhi also alleged the Modi government had written off the debt worth Rs 3.5 lakh crore "but none of the beneficiaries were from the poor section of the society".
He also alleged that demonetisation, the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes announced by Prime minister Narendra Modi in November 2016, had benefitted only the rich, who, he said, converted their black money into white.
"On the night of November 8, Modiji found that currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 are not good looking and announced demonetisation," he claimed.
"Farmers do not have credit cards. They purchase seeds in cash. Farmers are not like your (Modi's) friends who wear suit and boot and use credit cards. All such people like farmers, women, poor and small traders have to stand in queues (to replace the banned notes)," he said.
State unit BJP vice-president Vijesh Lunawat said, "The Congress had raised the Vyapam issue in earlier elections but lost. He (Gandhi) should know that the CBI has already given a clean chit to the MP chief minister."
"On the contrary, the court ordered registration of an FIR against Congress leaders Digvijaya Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kamal Nath to enquire into the charges of submitting false electronic evidence and making false allegations in connection with the Vyapam case," he said.
Kartikey has also filed a criminal defamation case, Lunawat added.
The Vyapam scam allegedly pertains to fraudulent practices in conducting professional exams through the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) and recruitment to government posts.
It allegedly involved 13 different exams conducted by Vyapam (the acronym for 'Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal') , for selection of medical students and state government employees where the final results were rigged.
(With inputs from agencies.)