Rahul attacks Mayawati government over health funds

July 21st, 2011 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), July 21 (IANS) Hitting out at the Mayawati government over alleged bungling in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) funds, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Thursday said such “open loot” of central funds in any other state would have led to the fall of that government.

“If such an activity (misutilisation of funds) would have happened in Maharashtra, Delhi, Haryana or Punjab, the government there would have fallen on the same day,” Gandhi told a gathering of Youth Congress activists.

“NRHM is just one programme in which there has been an open loot of thousands of crores in the state… Robbery takes place during night, but here (in Uttar Pradesh) it has taken place in broad daylight,” added Gandhi, who from Thursday has undertaken a two-day visit to eastern Uttar Pradesh to promote membership drive of the Youth Congress.

Gandhi called upon the party’s youth activists to work hard for reviving tne Congress in the state. He asked the young workers to take up issues related to the poor and downtrodden.

During the two-day tour, Gandhi will visit Mau, Ballia and Varanasi districts to interact with the party’s youth activists. He will also meet weavers of the region to know their problems.

While the central team auditing the NRHM account in the state has reported massive irregularities in the award of contracts for various works under the programme, allegations have been made that a nexus of politicians, mafia and government doctors swindled over Rs.3,000 crore NRHM funds in the past six years.

Award of huge contracts for supply of goods and equipment under the centrally-funded NRHM and large-scale financial bungling are believed to be the cause behind the murder of two chief medical officers - Vinod Arya and B.P. Singh, and the mysterious death of deputy chief medical officer Y.S. Sachan inside the Lucknow jail.

Days after recommending a CBI probe into the mysterious death of Sachan, the state government Wednesday also referred the murder cases of the two CMOs to the CBI. The CBI will also be requested to probe the alleged anomalies in the implementation of the NRHM schemes.

Meanwhile, Gandhi also carried out surprise inspections of various villages in Gorakhpur to evaluate the implementation of central government-sponsored schemes.

“He (Gandhi) reached Kataka village after riding a boat. Congress general secretary also held a `chaupal’ (informal meeting) at the door of one Rekha Mallah… During the meeting he asked the locals about their problems and enquired about implementation of central projects,” Congress spokesperson Akhilesh Pratap told reporters.

“Gandhi also had a brief halt at a roadside eating joint, where he had snacks. There too he continued to interact with locals.”

According to party officials, Gandhi paid a surprise visit to the `samadhi’ of Saint Kabir in Sant Kabir Nagar district, some 30 km from Gorakhpur.

During his stay of around 30 minutes, Gandhi interacted with visitors to the saint-poet’s mausoleum.

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