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Millennium Post

Probe NRHM scam

Former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati, finds herself in deep trouble over the scam relating to the National Rural Health Mission. So far her party, the BSP, has been denying her involvement in the massive Rs 5,700 crore scam. An attempt has been made to deny culpability and shift the blame on to the minister who was in charge of the family welfare department, Babu Singh Kushwaha, now under arrest, and other officials. The BSP has been shouting itself hoarse that Mayawati approved no proposal to release funds or for the formulation of schemes. Now some evidence has surfaced that the chief minister may have been in the know of the fraudulent activities in the family welfare department. A government order has surfaced, issued by Mayawati herself in May 2007 which states that files related to policy decisions were to be sent to the chief minister for appproval while all other remaining proposals were to be approved by the cabinet secretary. Thus, Mayawati,  who even headed the family welfare department from 2007 to 2009, was the final authority in many of the decisions that were taken at the time the NRHM scam crystallised. She can also not claim ignorance of the blatent violation of the NRHM that took place during her regime as chief minister as the State Health Mission is supposed to be headed by the chief minister of the state.  

The NRHM is an important programme for improving healthcare across rural India. It has proposed several new innovations for making healthcare accessible to the rural poor and several thousand crores of government money have been invested in it. It is most unfortunate that a scam by callous and uncaring people who have cared more for personal aggrandissement than the public weal has sabotaged this vital scheme for improving rural health services. They have played around with the funds meant for the development of assets and services for the poorest of the poor in rural areas. This is unforgivable and inexcusable. Investigations in this scam must continue without fear or favour. Those found guilty must be given exemplary punishment, howsoever high a position they may have held. None must be allowed to escape.
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