The Madhya Pradesh Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on Friday arrested two aides of former minister and BJP MLA Narottam Mishra in connection with the alleged e-tendering scam during the BJP rule.
The alleged scam that came to light in April 2018 involved rigging of online bidding process in order to ensure that particular firms got tenders.
Nirmal Awasthi and Virendra Pandey had been questioned several times by EOW after an FIR was registered in April this year. The Congress had promised in its manifesto that it will probe the scam and registered FIR four months after coming to power.
These are the first arrests directly linked to any minister. After the FIR was registered, EOW teams had arrested employees of a private company.
MP government believes the scam cost the exchequer at least Rs 3,000 crore while the BJP claims that no loss was caused because tenders were cancelled immediately after the irregularities came to the fore.
Mishra told The Indian Express that the Congress government was grappling with the fear of unknown and taking political revenge. He claimed the file related to the tender in which the two were arrested “did not even come to my bungalow”. The FIR was registered in connection with tenders, which were not awarded and not a single penny loss occurred, he said.
He said employees who did not even have signing authority had been arrested.