BHOPAL: The arrest of Srinivas Raju Mantena by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has stirred up a hornet's nest in the state. Mantena has been the main contractor of the Water Resources Department. He is a contractor having links with the BJP as well as the Congress leaders.

Mantena, the most-desired contractor of the previous BJP government, was given a lot of projects in the 15 months' rule of the Congress.Both the governments gave money to Mantena before completion of the projects, which kicked up a row after the BJP came to power for the second time. The issue was swept under the carpet. Another person, Aditya Tripathi, was arrested along with Mantena. Tripathi set up a company, Arni Infra. Mantena used to sublet work to this company whose duty was to generate cases and distribute money among officers. Contd. on P8

The main job of Tripathi was to distribute brass on behalf of Mantena. The name of Tripathi cropped up in the documents seized during income-tax raids at residential and official premises of the colleagues of former chief minister Kamal Nath. Tripathi gave Rs 945 lakh to the Congress in the Vidhan Sabha elections of 2018. The income-tax department cited this amount in its appraisal report. According to sources, during quizzing by the ED sleuths, Tripathi revealed many name of many people whom he had given money. The ED may issue notices to those people whose names were revealed by Tripathi. A senior officer posted in the state capital is linked to Tripathi. The officer had property dealings with Tripathi's sister. The ED has begun to inquire into the matter.

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