Former Uttar Pradesh Minister for Health and Family Planning Babu Singh Kushwaha appeared before a CBI judge and denied his involvement in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam, on Saturday. He also said Chief Minister Mayawati was the final authority in deciding matters related to the Mission.
Mr. Kushwaha said that he was not in a position to finalise the decisions about allocation of funds and work being assigned to companies and added that there were two core committees for it and he was not the head of any committee.
He said before the court last evening that the U.P. Chief Minister was the head of one committee and another was headed by the State Chief Secretary and the Chief Minister’s decision was the final one. He denied that he ever allocated funds for any work in NRHM.
Coming out from the court at around 7.30 pm last evening, he said to the waiting media that he gave a clear picture to the court about his being innocent.
Co-accused BSP MLA Ram Pal Singh Jaiswal also told the court that he runs his private companies and no NRHM fund was siphoned by his firm.
Advocate Ajay Vikram Singh, who represents both of them, said that now CBI should interrogate U.P. Chief Minister Mayawati about allocation of funds in NRHM.
CBI arrested Mr. Kushwaha and Mr. Jaiswal yesterday in the first action against politicians in the multi-crore NRHM scam in Uttar Pradesh.
The arrest of Mr. Kushwaha, who crossed over to BJP after being sacked as Family Welfare minister, and Mr. Jaiswal here came on a day when the crucial seven-phased Assembly elections in U.P. concluded. Mr. Kushwaha, who was expelled by BSP last December, is one of the prime accused in the scam.