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NRHM scam ammo against BSP supremo Mayawati

| PRAMOD KUMAR
Published : Jul 25, 2016, 6:46 am IST
Updated : Jul 25, 2016, 6:46 am IST

Former BJP leader Dayashankar Singh’s insults have made BSP supremo Mayawati re-emerge right back in the thick of the Uttar Pradesh poll battle.

BSP supremo Mayawati (Photo: PTI)
 BSP supremo Mayawati (Photo: PTI)

Former BJP leader Dayashankar Singh’s insults have made BSP supremo Mayawati re-emerge right back in the thick of the Uttar Pradesh poll battle. But with the CBI concluding the probe in the “mother scam”, a part of the multi-crore fraud to do with the National Rural Health Mission in the poll-bound state, her opponents are likely to use this as political ammunition against her.

The CBI probe has revealed that Mayawati’s close confidante, Anant Kumar Mishra, allegedly collected bribes worth several crores of rupees for transfer and posting of district project officers. The agency has already examined Mayawati in this regard. Sources said Mr Mishra not only amassed huge wealth, but also acquired two Kolkata-based companies to show his income as legitimate.

The agency sleuths, who recently concluded the probe into the transfer and posting of several DPOs in the state, found that Mr Mishra not only took bribes for such acts, but also did so upon the bidding of contractors in the districts, who kept their men of choice at various places. Besides, the CBI investigators found that officials posted in certain districts in collusion with suppliers, allegedly awarded NRHM contracts pertaining to medicine supply to state government-run co-operatives which were meant for supplying stationery items only.

The probe further revealed that the state government officials colluded to award at least five major projects at exorbitant rates in an arbitrary manner to firms with no expertise in the field at all, sources said.

“Investigations have revealed that in his bid to show the bribe amount as white, Mr Mishra acquired two Kolkata-based firms and purchased flats in Delhi’s posh Safdarjung Enclave, Gomti Nagar (Lucknow) and one each in Kanpur and Ghaziabad. He also bought three commercial properties in Kanpur,” sources said. The probe report also mentions Mr Mishra appointed his parents as directors in both firms which he allegedly acquired from the bribe amount, they added.

“The agency sleuths found that massive irregularities were allegedly committed in the ‘selective appointment/transfers’ of over 100 project officers in 72 districts for the disbursement of funds under the centrally sponsored scheme in the state during Mayawati’s tenure. This is the ‘mother scam’ of NRHM in UP. Investigators have found that some junior medical officers were promoted to the post of project officers due to their political connections,” sources said. The DPOs, sources said, were instrumental in aiding corruption in the implementation of NRHM schemes in UP.

Large-scale irregularities in the implementation of NRHM in UP came to light after two CMOs — Dr V K Arya and Dr B P Singh — were shot in Lucknow within a period of six months in 2011. Besides, Deputy CMO YS Sachan, who was an accused in both the murder case and NRHM irregularities in the Lucknow CMO office, was found dead in Lucknow jail in June, 2011.

Box:

* Officials of UP Processing and Construction Co-operative Federation Ltd (PACCFED) favoured ineligible firms and released payment of Rs 16.93 crore on the basis of forged documents.

* Senior officials of the Uttar Pradesh Health Department allegedly colluded to give the contract of a crucial high-tech telemedicine project to a construction company.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi