BJP pulls up defiant Shanta Kumar

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) A defiant former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Shanta Kumar on Tuesday said he stood by his remarks on the Vyapam recruitment scam in Madhya Pradesh even as the BJP pulled him up.

“The BJP’s journey has been a long one, during which it has achieved a lot, making members proud of it,” Shanta Kumar told the media.

“However, when such incidents happen, it taints the party and hurts its members,” the veteran said of the Vyapam scandal.

“I have just expressed my views through (my) letter (to BJP president Amit Shah). I stand by whatever I have written,” he added.

Shanta Kumar said in his letter posted on Facebook and Twitter accounts that the scandal had made all Bharatiya Janata Party members bow their heads in shame.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing the scam. Over 40 people linked to it have died so far.

The BJP earlier distanced itself from Shanta Kumar’s views.

“We generally consider Shanta Kumar a very mature leader. But it seems he has been carried away by the propaganda of the Congress,” Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

“Whatever he has said or written, we completely disassociate with Shanta Kumar’s version,” Rudy added.

Shanta Kumar said that an “ethics committee should be set up to act like a Lokpal to root out corruption”.

He referred to BJP-ruled Rajasthan — whose Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has been linked to former IPL chief Lalit Modi — and Maharashtra — where BJP ministers face corruption charges — when he suggested the need for a Lokpal to “keep a check on leaders in government”.

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