Former Mayawati aide raided over NRHM scam

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday raided the residence of sacked Uttar Pradesh minister Babu Singh Kushwaha in connection with the financial irregularities in the supply of medicines and medical equipment in the multi-crore National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam.

The CBI also raided the premises of some officials and contractors in connection with the NRHM scam. The raids were being conducted at 60 places in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

Kushwaha, a Bahujan Samaj Party veteran, backward class leader and chief minister Mayawati's close aide till November, was sacked by Mayawati for his alleged involvement in the NRHM scam that led to the murder of two chief medical officers.

He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday. On the same day, the CBI filed first information reports pertaining to the scam. Kushwaha has been named as an accused in one of the five FIRs registered against the NRHM officials and private companies in Uttar Pradesh.

The charges against Kushwaha include criminal misconduct and misuse of office in implementing the NRHM scheme as the state family welfare minister.

The raids certainly come as an embarrassment for the BJP, coming a day after Kushwaha joined that party. It is felt unlikely that the BJP will now give an election ticket, with state polls due next month.