Three-time former CM of Uttar Pradesh and the chief of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Mayawati hit out at the BJP-led Central government over the reports of possible questioning in the multi-crore NRHM scam. There were reports late on Monday that Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) may question her in the infamous scam relating to the rural medical care scheme National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in UP at the time she was the Chief Minister.
Claiming she had no connection with it, Ms Mayawati alleged that the Centre was misusing the agency ahead of Bihar elections for political gains.
“I have no connection to the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam. BJP, which is trying to use CBI, should give up such tactics as such attempts have cost them dearly earlier,” she told the press on early on Tuesday.
According to the sources, the CBI may be questioning Mayawati on two specific issues related to NRHM scam – bifurcation of Health and Family Welfare Department and appointment of District Project Officers considered key to the scam.
Questioning the timing of the CBI investigation against her, the former Cheif Minister said the move was an attempt to “demoralise” her party and divert attention from the “failures” of the Central government to fulfil its promises made to the people.
“It is like serving absolute majority in UP elections to the BSP. We have no problems with it… During Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, cases were lodged against me in Taj corridor case as well as a case of disproportionate assets was filed but I was given clean chit by the High Court as well as the Supreme Court,” she said adding that the move reeks of a political vendetta.
“Before a CBI officer called me, the news that I could be questioned in the NRHM scam was leaked to the media in a bid to demoralise me and my party workers ahead of Bihar assembly elections…” she further added.
Explaining her stand on the issue, Ms. Mayawati said the decision was taken by her cabinet and subsequent decisions on appointing two chief medical officers in every district was taken by the concerned minister Babulal Kushwaha. Indicating a possible understanding between BJP and SP, she said the Uttar Pradesh government’s “failures” especially on the law and order front are being deliberately ignored by the Centre for political gains.
On the other hand, the CBI maintained that it will “proceed” only by the books.
“The agency will proceed as per the demand of the investigation,” CBI Director Anil Sinha said when asked by the press about Mayawati’s allegations against the agency that it is been “misused” by the government apparatus.
However, the CBI director refused to answer when asked about the requirement of examining Mayawati after filing 48 chargesheets in the National Rural Health Mission scam.
On its part, the Centre rubbished Mayawati’s allegation of “misuing” CBI, claiming that the premier investigation agency works as per the evidence.
“CBI does its work on the basis of proofs. There is no need to draw any other conclusion (from the agency’s actions),” Union minister and senior BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad said.
(With inputs from the PTI)