The CBI Wednesday raided about 45 places across Uttar Pradesh, including the premises of expelled Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) member and former minister Babu Singh Kushwaha as well as his associates, in connection with the multi-crore National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam.
Expelled from the ruling BSP last November, Kushwaha had on Tuesday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
According to CBI sources, several houses and commercial establishments owned by Kushwaha and his associates, including legislator Ram Chandra Pradhan, were raided by separate CBI teams in 12 districts covering Lucknow as well as Kanpur, Moradabad, Ghaziabad and Agra.
The residence and offices of the owners of the recently floated Hindi daily Jan Sandesh were also raided. The office of the daily is in a 12,000 sq ft. premises in Lucknow's prime commercial hub, Hazratganj.
Sources said Kushwaha's 'benami' properties in Mumbai were also under the scanner.
The CBI is also investigating the murder of three chief medical officers, closely linked with the implementation of the NHRM, between 2009-2011. Kushwaha was the minister handling health and family welfare and was removed in April following his alleged involvement in the financial bunglings in the NHRM. He was expelled from the party in November.