New Delhi: CBI on Saturday arrested Babu Singh Kushwaha, a former minister in the Mayawati government, and ruling BSP MLA Ram Prasad Jaiswal in the first action against politicians in the multi-crore NRHM scam in Uttar Pradesh.
The arrest of Kushwaha, who crossed over to BJP after being sacked as Family Welfare minister, and Jaiswal here came on a day when the crucial seven-phased Assembly elections in UP concluded. Kushwaha, who was expelled by BSP last December, is one of the prime accused in the scam.
The total number of arrests in the scam relating to
alleged swindling of over Rs 10,000 crore central funds
allocated to UP under the National Rural Health Mission(NRHM)
has risen to 12 after it was unearthed over a year back.
Kushwaha and Jaiswal were produced before a special CBI
court in Ghaziabad which has sent them to CBI remand for 10
days, CBI sources said.
BJP charged that the arrest of Kushwaha on the day of
conclusion of polling in UP showed Congress is misusing CBI to
serve its ends.
CBI called Kushwaha and Jaiswal at its headquarters here today for detailed questioning. Both arrived at about 11 am and were grilled for about four hours before being arrested by the agency.
"Prima facie, the agency has found offences of criminal misconduct and conspiracy on the part of the then Minister (Family Welfare) Kushwaha, the then Principal Secretary (Family Welfare) Pradeep Shukla and officials at various levels with
private contractors and vendors," sources said.
"Huge cash payments were allegedly made by private supplier to the then Minister and his associates in lieu of these contracts. An approximate loss of Rs 5.46 crore was found to have been caused to government exchequer in the said case," CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said.
So far, CBI has arrested 10 persons, including a retired director general (Family Welfare) SP Ram, general manager of a state PSU (Construction and Design Services (Subsidiary of Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam) PK Jain and retired MD of state PSU Shreetron India Ltd GK Batra.