Lucknow/New Delhi: The CBI on Wednesday conducted searches at 60 places, including at the residence of former UP Family Welfare Minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, to probe alleged irregularities in the Rs 10,000 crore funds allocated under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

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The CBI carried out searches after registering five cases on January two in which Kushwaha has been named in one of the cases, official sources said.

The searches began this morning at 60 places including at the residence of the former minister in Lucknow. Kushwaha had joined BJP on Tuesday after being sacked by UP Chief Minister Mayawati. Some places in the national capital were also being searched, the sources said.

The NRHM funds to the tune of about Rs 10,000 crore were allocated to Uttar Pradesh for the period 2005-06 till date by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry.

The funds have been spent through Chief Medical Officers of 72 districts in UP and other nodal offices all over the state like family welfare, medical health and training under various schemes.

A number of these works have been executed through several state public sector undertaking and a large number of contractors and firms.

The Allahabad High Court had on December 15 last year directed the CBI to conduct preliminary enquiry into the matter of execution and implementation of the NRHM scheme and utilisation of funds at various levels.

The CBI has been asked to complete the inquiry in four months by the court.