NRHM case: Former UP minister, BSP legislator arrested (Lead)

March 3rd, 2012 - 9:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Saturday arrested former Uttar Pradesh minister Babu Singh Kushwaha and his aide and sitting BSP legislator Ram Prasad Jaiswal for alleged involvement in the multi-crore-rupee National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam, officials said.

Kushwaha, who had recently quit his Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and crossed over to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was arrested after day-long interrogation, said a CBI official, adding that he will be presented in court Sunday.

The arrests of the two, long under the agency’s scanner for their role in the NRHM scam, minutes after the seventh and last phase of state elections came to an end.

CBI, which is investigating the scam, had called Kushwaha and Jaiswal Saturday morning for questioning.

According to agency sources, both the leaders were arrested after they failed to give satisfactory answers.

The agency is also expected to question a few politicians like former health minister Anant Mishra and legislative councillor Ram Chandra Pradhan.

The CBI had in January conducted raids in Delhi, Lucknow and other places while investigating Kushwaha’s alleged involvement in the scam.

A former family welfare minister, Kushwaha was questioned in connection with the three FIRs, registered Jan 19, in which contracts to the tune of Rs.250 crore were given to various firms for works.

Kushwaha has been named as the accused in the first FIR and the CBI is probing his role in at least 12 contracts.

Kushwaha’s name was included as an accused in the case on the basis of the statement of the former principal secretary (medical & health) Pradip Shukla, two directors general of the family welfare directorate S.P. Ram and Usha Narayan and chief medical officers of the districts concerned, the source added.

“Till now, our investigations suggest that family welfare and health departments of the state government awarded contracts to certain private companies allegedly on the basis of bogus documents,” said a source.

The case was registered against the former minister in the matter of alleged financial irregularities done in the supply of medicines and medical equipment in 24 districts of Uttar Pradesh under the NRHM scheme during 2010-2011.

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