NRHM scam returns to haunt Mayawati
The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam in Uttar Pradesh is providing enough ammunition to rivals of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to target chief minister Mayawati in the run-up to the assembly polls.india Updated: Jan 24, 2012 01:27 IST
The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam in Uttar Pradesh is providing enough ammunition to rivals of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to target chief minister Mayawati in the run-up to the assembly polls.
She is hitting back, citing bigger scams by rivals and stating that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) performance audit of NRHM implementation from 2005 to 2011 does not mention "Rs 4,938-crore scam".
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the health scam, and four apparently related deaths - the latest on Monday, 16 days before the first phase of polling on February 8 - has become a major talking point amid a range of other poll issues.
The Congress, which has been out of power in UP for 22 years, is at the forefront of the attacks. Party general secretary Rahul Gandhi is targeting the BSP government over the health scam, even as the Congress is reminding the electorate that the Samajwadi Party (SP) was in power when the NRHM was launched in the state in 2005.
The BJP is also in Congress crosshairs. Without naming sacked BSP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh Monday said the BJP had inducted "the hero" of the NRHM scam. He demanded a CBI inquiry into death of Sunil Verma, an NRHM project engineer, who reportedly shot self.
Mayawati's counterattack is based on listing scams reported during the tenure of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre.
"The Congress has been misusing the CBI. A clear example of this is the NRHM scam in which the pace of investigations has been stepped up at the time of assembly elections," she said at a rally in Roorkee. "In all 62 scams involving Rs 20 lakh crore have been reported during the tenure of the UPA government."