Congress's Jaivardhan Singh questioned the rationale behind "normalisation" of marks in the exam.
Allegations of irregularities in the entrance exam for revenue officials dominated the Madhya Pradesh assembly on Wednesday, with Opposition Congress declaring that the marks of at least one deserving candidate was almost halved. Congress MLA Jaivardhan Singh cited the case of Neetu Rajput, a resident of Raigarh, who had scored 157 in the computerised score given immediately after the test. But after "normalisation", her score dropped hugely.
Mr Singh, a former minister, questioned the rationale behind "normalisation".
"I have evidence of a candidate receiving 157 marks but she got only 86 when her results were posted online... the rationale stated was normalisation... What exactly is this? How it is decided?" he told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
Then in a mocking vein, he added, "Actually, what they do (is) those who need to be adjusted are given more marks in the name of normalisation, while those who need to be eliminated have their numbers lowered".
"Today, I asked in the assembly how many Patwaris had been chosen, and they said there were around 8,000. This system has become utterly opaque, indicating significant corruption in this process," he added.
The Congress alleges massive irregularities, questioning how 117 candidates who took the examination for the posts of Group 2 and Sub Group 4 Patwari -- a revenue official -- from a centre run by a BJP MLA passed and seven of them turned out to be top scorers.
The NRI College, Gwalior, is owned by BJP MLA Sanjeev Kushwaha, Mr Kushwaha has trashed the allegations, calling them politically motivated ahead of the coming elections.
Mr Singh said he has also written a letter to the Employee Selection Board, inquiring about Neetu Rajput.
"Seven people who ranked in the top 10 are from the same exam centre... it is clear that they have resumed their old game," he added, referring to the Vyapam scam of 2013, in which several high-profile politicians and bureaucrats were allegedly involved.
The candidate whose case was cited in the state assembly, Neetu Rajput, told NDTV that her marks had gone down by another per cent between declaration of results and "normalisation".
"After the exam, the computer screen showed 157 marks for me... But when the result was declared, I got just 87.3 marks, which was reduced to 86.1 after the normalisation process. Where have my remaining marks gone?" she said.
A daughter of a farmer family, she said she has been preparing for this exam for the last four years.
"A scam has happened. Ineligible candidates will get the job, while hard-working candidates like us will stay put in agricultural fields," she added, breaking down.
She said she knew of another candidate, Pankaj Bhilala, who had a similar experience.
Mr Bhilala, who comes from a tribal family, said while his computerised marks was 124, he got only 86 when the results were declared. After "normalisation", it went down to 76.
"My mother, a widow, runs the family and she can no longer support my preparations for government recruitment tests. It leaves me with no option but to become a farmer in the village," he added.
The top scorers in the exam were among the 9.78 lakh students who took the exam.
The results were announced on June 30, with the list of the top 10 candidates following on Monday.
State minister Narottam Mishra said the Staff Selection Board took the exam on April 26 and so far, they have not received any complaints. He also indicated he was unaware of which exam centre was at the heart of the controversy.
"8,600 people were selected in the whole state. 114 people were selected at which center? There are a total of 78 centers in Madhya Pradesh, 9,78,000 papers were given out across 13 cities. This has been going on for 35 days. There were 70 question papers... Of the seven who passed, there are six girls... One should not defame like this," he added.