Another BSP legislator faces probe in NRHM scam

MLC Ram Chandra Singh Pradhan, Babu Singh Kushwaha's aide, had allegedly used his influence as UPPCF chief

After former BSP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha and former BSP MLA Ram Prasad Jaiswal, another BSP legislator Ram Chandra Singh Pradhan has come under the CBI scanner in the NRHM scam.

Pradhan, who is a member of the Legislative Council, was elected chairman of UP Cooperative Federation Ltd (UPPCF) during the previous government and enjoyed the status of a minister of state.

CBI sources said Pradhan's role was being probed in alleged irregularities in allotment of a contract of the value of Rs 2.54 crore in NRHM to an Uttarakhand-based private firm by UPPCF in 2010.

Pradhan's wife Anita is already facing charges of irregularities in supply of building material and labourers in construction of 27 ANM centres at Maal, Malihabad, Kakori and Bakshi ka Talab areas in Lucknow district under NRHM between January 2010 and January 2011. She is an accused in the case.

On Thursday, the CBI registered a case against UPPCF general manager Ashok Kumar and the private firm's proprietor Sudhakar, and conducted simultaneous searches at the offices and residences of the GM in Lucknow and those of Sudhakar in Rudrapur and Delhi.

Sources said that the interrogation of the GM and other officials in UPPCF had revealed that Pradhan, who was close to the then family welfare minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, and being chairman of the PSU, had used his influence for getting work of printing mother and child safety cards allotted to UPPCF in 2010.

The preliminary inquiry showed that UPPCF allotted printing work to Rudrapur-based Priyadarshi Print-O-Pack and two of its sister concerns by manipulating tenders, the sources added. Also, they were given work at exorbitant rates.

Further, the UPPCF carried out the process of handing over the job to the firm even before a sum of Rs 2.64 crore was allotted to then family welfare DG for the work. The notice inviting tender was issued after the contract had already been given to the firm, the sources said.

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