Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Mallya backtracks after saying he met Arun Jaitley before leaving India

Mallya backtracks after saying he met Arun Jaitley before leaving India

Stepping up his attack on Arun Jaitley for allegedly meeting Vijay Mallya before the latter fled to the U.K., Congress president Rahul Gandhi on September 13 accused the Finance Minister of colluding with a "criminal" and not informing the probe agencies, despite having information about the liquor baron's plan to leave the country. Having been fully briefed about his earlier "bluff offers", without allowing him to proceed with the conversation, I curtly told him "there was no point talking to me and he must make offers to his bankers,"' the finance minister said.

After Congress latched onto Vijay Mallya "meeting" Arun Jaitley, the BJP hit back by accusing Rahul Gandhi of "using black money".

Speaking to ANI today, Mallya claimed, "I met the finance minister before I left and repeated the offer to pay the banks". I happened to meet Jaitley in Parliament and told him that I was leaving for London.

Screenshots were in circulation of the June 12, 2018, tweet in which he had said: "Mallya could not escape from India because of a strong Look Out Notice for him at airports".

He claimed that Rahul Gandhi was on the backfoot in the case of Kingfisher Airlines and its promoter Vijay Mallya as well as the entire Gandhi family travelled on the airline and their travel was upgraded to business class for free.

"He paced up to catch up with me and while walking uttered a sentence that 'I am making an offer of settlement, '" Jaitley wrote. "That is the truth", he told reporters outside a Westminster Magistrate court where he is fighting an extradition case filed by Indian authorities. SBI along with other lenders also approached the Karnataka High Court appealing for Mallya's arrest and impoundment of his passport.

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The Indian government says Kingfisher took out a series of loans from Indian banks, in particular the state-owned IDBI, with the aim of palming off huge losses which Mallya knew the failing airline was going to sustain. Congress added, the Finance minister must reveal details of his alleged meetings with Jaitley.

Reading out from one of a bunch of papers, which he said were evidence of the links between the Congress and the wanted tycoon, Mr Mallya said the loans to the now defunct airline were restructured twice - in 2008 and 2012.

"My attention has been drawn to a statement made to the media by Vijay Mallya on having met me with an offer of settlement".

Mallya is wanted in India for defaulting on bank loans to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, has been in the United Kingdom since March 2016.

"Vijay Mallya left India with the country's money after a farewell from Arun Jaitley".

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