CBI links Pilot, Gehlot to ambulance scam
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the ambulance scam case and linked former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, former Union minister Sachin Pilot; even P Chidambaram's son was named. Searches were carried out by the CBI at the offices of Ziqitza Health Care Ltd in Mumbai and Jaipur. The case transferred from Rajasthan police's CID-CB To CBI as it involved MLAs including Gehlot.
The Vasundhara Raje government provided the ambulance tenders to a company named EMR under the National Rural Health Mission. Congress's Gehlot government upon coming to power in 2008 found irregularities in the tenders. Fresh tenders issued in 2010 by the Gehlot government were tweaked in such a manner that Ziqitza Health Care was made the sole bidder for the tenders.
Ziqitza Health-Care Limited came under the scanner after Kirit Somaiya, a senior BJP leader said it got contacts because of its political contacts with the Congress. Rajasthan's financial advisor (NHRM) and the state health department said that Ziqitza had wrongly shown 55,000 ambulance trips when only 37,000 had been undertaken. Moreover, the company had charged the government for 50 ambulances not even in use.
Ziqitza Health Care Limited is closely connected to Ravi Krishna (Vayalar Ravi, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs' son) who is the company's co-founder and Karti Chidambaram (P Chidambaram's son) who is on the board of directors.
Rajasthan's incumbent CM Vasundhara Raje called for a CBI probe into the case of the state-run ambulance scheme for alleged financial irregularities in their operations during the Gehlot government. Once the formal communication was sent by Raje, the centre would then decide whether to act on the request. The centre's nod was necessary as the funds were provided under a central scheme.
The case registered against Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot pertaining to the alleged ambulance scam under the NRHM scheme in Rajasthan between 2010-2013 has irked Pilot who said this was a "vendetta driven malicious prosecution" by the Raje government. He further said that the government should stop harassing political opponents like this and adopt a 'moral stand'.