Tripathy, MLA from Banki and former Chief Whip of the ruling BJD in the state assembly, was grilled by CBI sleuths at the agency's office here, officials said.

The CBI grilling came a day after Tripathy approached the Orissa High Court seeking anticipatory bail following the raid conducted on his houses last month by CBI.

Tripathy was interrogated for his alleged link with the Artha Tatwa Group CMD Pradeep Sethi who has been behind bars for allegedly duping hundreds of investors.

The ruling BJD, however, sought to steer clear of Tripathy's questioning by CBI. "BJD and its supremo Naveen Patnaik will not tolerate involvement of any person irrespective of his position in corrupt or criminal activities," said BJD Spokesman Rabi Narayan Nanda.

Before grilling Tripathy, the CBI sleuths had last month raided the houses of the MLA located here and at Banki, about 40 km from here.

CBI sleuths had also raided the house of one of Tripathy's close associates Subash Padhy in Banki in connection with the case.

Tripathy, President of 'Banki Mahotsav', had allegedly taken money from Artha Tatwa CMD Pradeep Sethi last year through Padhy, General Secretary of the festival committee.

CBI sleuths have meanwhile interrogated Tripathy's close associates like Ranjan Dash and a BJD working committee member Ashis Sahu.

In a related development, Manoj Dash, owner of a private TV channel who had been arrested on Sunday night, was sent to jail after his bail application was rejected by Chief Judicial Magistrate Padmalochan Satpathy.

Meanwhile, opposition BJP and Congress hit out at the ruling party as CBI grilled the second BJD MLA. "We think senior BJD leaders will spend this Dusshera holiday inside the jail," said senior BJP leader Suresh Pujari.

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