Multi-crore health mission scam comes back to haunt UP’s ex-CM Mayawati

Lucknow(dna): After Haryana strongman Om Prakash Chautala, perhaps first top politician convicted for corrupt practices and cooling heals in Delhi’s Tihar jail, it now seems that wheel has turned a full circle for the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati. The CBI has made first serious attempt to book her in a case related to alleged misappropriation of funds in the implementation of National Rural Health Mission also known as NRHM scam.


Significantly, all other cases filed against her, be that Taj corridor case or the one related to disproportionate assets or the cases against her rival Mulayam Singh Yadav have waxed and waned in past, depending on their political relationships with the central government.

Besides the NHRM case, another case awaiting her relates to disclosures of her former aide Jugul Kishore, who was suspended for “anti-party” activities for alleging that she had demanded Rs 60 crore for a Rajya Sabha seat, Rs 1.5 crore for Assembly ticket, and Rs50 lakh on reserve Assembly seats. He has also claimed he has a diary which will expose Mayawati’s corrupt practices and has declared he will finish her politically.

Critics claim Mayawati, as chief minister of UP, had defended former family welfare and mining minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, who is currently languishing in jail for the Rs 5,400 crore National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam. With the state going to polls in February 2017, Mayawati’s arrest will have repercussions on the state’s political landscape. Over past 10 years of UPA rule, the actions or non-actions against corruption allegations against her have been precursor to stitching up an alliance with Congress. The nature and timing of CBI’s actions have coincided to suit political requirements of the ruling regime.

A senior central minister here said the chickens were coming home to roost for corrupt politicians, stressing that the Modi government will not traverse the beaten track of the Congress regime. “If we had to link corruption cases to political alliances, Om Prakash Chautala would not have been in jail. The law will take its course and there will not interference to CBI actions,” he said, assuring that whatmay come, Modi government will give all the freedom to the investigating agencies to clear the system and inculcate fears amongst erring politicians.

According to sources, the CBI will be questioning the BSP leader on two issues which include the alleged haphazard creation of 100 District Program Officer posts and bifurcation of Health and Family Welfare Department.

“The questioning is part of the investigation to unearth the larger conspiracy behind the alleged scam,” said the source.

The CBI had found out that on each appointment of these CMOs, Rs 15-20 lakh were allegedly given as bribe to the then UP Minister of Family Welfare Babu Singh Kushwaha and Health Minister Anant Mishra by middlemen.

Kushwaha was arrested on March 3, 2012 and is still languishing in jail. The CBI had also found in its probe that Kushwaha was instrumental in bifurcating the Health and Family Welfare Department so that the department kept getting major chunk of contracts under the NRHM scheme.

The agency has registered around 75 cases and filed many charge sheets in the NRHM scam since it started its probe in 2011. The probe into the 10,000 crore rupees scam had brought out the role of hundreds of doctors, private contractors, local politicians, MLAs for alleged irregularities in the contracts related to medicines, ambulances and supply to the hospitals in the state.

It has been alleged that huge sum has been siphoned off by the accused from the funds meant for the NRHM, a central government scheme meant to provide health care facilities to people in rural areas. Investigation so far had revealed that as many as five persons have died or were allegedly murdered in an attempt to cover up the large-scale irregularities in the case.

Earlier in July the Apex court had asked Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, representing CBI, to furnish information like the total number of cases filed by it and the number of accused and the present status of these matters in a tabular chart form.