NEW DELHI: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday night tweeted about Vijay Mallya’s reported meeting with Arun Jaitley.
Mallya had claimed that he met Jaitley for settlement before leaving for London, a claim which Union Finance Minister has rejected.
However, Congress has latched on to the allegations and have asked for probe. Congress President Rahul Gandhi said, ”
He said, ” Given Vijay Mallya’s extremely serious allegations in London today, the PM should immediately order an independent probe into the matter. Arun Jaitley should step down as FInance Minister while this probe is underway.”
The government must explain how and why Vijay Mallya was allowed to leave India, the Congress said and demanded a thorough inquiry, after the embattled business claimed in London on Wednesday that he met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving the country.
The government, the Congress said, was fully complicit in the flight of people such as Mallya and Punjab National Bank fraud accused Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi from the country.
After Jaitley refuted Mallya’s claim as “factually false,”, the liquor baron, facing charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore, appeared to tone down the seriousness of his comments, saying it was not a “formal meeting” and he only “happened to meet” the finance minister.
“Everybody was complacent and everybody was aware…whether it was a casual meeting or a structured meeting. We need proper disclosures, full inquiries on this,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.
He said the moot question remains why was no action taken at that time in view of the knowledge of such situations in terms of allowing him to leave.
He said Mallya’s claim is vindication of the party’s stand and assertion that the government was always in the know about Mallya, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and others who have fled the country.
Singhvi said the country wants to know what transpired during the meetings between Mallya and Jaitley.
“Today we have a categorical assertion by Mallya in UK about the number of times he met the finance minister to have some resolution of his dues with banks. The government should now explain how and why he was allowed to leave and what transpired at those meetings. The nation wants to know,” he said.
Singhvi said the Congress has repeatedly asserted for the past over 18 months that not only Vijay Mallya, but also Nirav Modi, Choksi and many others have been allowed to leave the country with impunity.
He said the phrase used by Mallya that ‘I met the finance minister’ does not suggest a passing and casual meeting inside Rajya Sabha.
“I think more categorical and detailed response must be had. Question remains how could he have left after everyone knew of debts and NPAs,” he said.
Mallya after initial claim subsequently clairified that he had run into Jaitley in Parliament and didn’t had a formal meeting.
Source: Press Trust of India