The opposition parties attacked the government after Vijay Mallya's comment. (File)
Absconding businessman Vijay Mallya's claim that he had a "meeting" with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving for London has created a political controversy. Mallya, who is facing charges of bank loan fraud amounting to Rs 9,000 crore, claimed that in the meeting he "repeated" his offer to "settle with the banks". Mr Jaitley, however, denied that he gave a formal appointment to Mallya since 2014, adding that he met him in the parliament corridor. Mr Jaitley said he had been briefed about Mallya's "bluff offers" earlier, and he had curtly told the businessman that "there was no point talking to me and he must make offers to his bankers".
The opposition parties attacked the government after Vijay Mallya's comment. Congress President Rahul Gandhi demanded an independent probe into the matter. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote in a tweet,"PM Modi meets Neerav Modi before he flees the country. FM meets Vijay Mallya before he flees India. What transpired in these meetings? People want to know."
Here are the live updates:
"We have been chasing the bank defaulters in best possible manner. We passed the Fugitive Offenders Bill." : BJP
"The only way they Congress can convince the people is by repeating the lie. Why was RBI pressurised to an extent that the issue highlighted letter submitted on 18 August was resolved by August 27? Who helped in escalation?", says BJP.
He further says that Congress looted public money and "When BJP is trying to recover the money, we are being blamed instead. Now Congress leaders are saying they "witnessed" the meeting. Were they sleeping for two years?"
Union Minister, Piyush Goyal, says, "Since 2010, all laws were broken, RBI was roped in to help Vijay Mallya,. Now, we are being blamed. The Prime Minister, Finance Minister of the former UPA government helped Kingfisher in so many ways."
On Rafale Deal, Randeep Surjewala says, "Yesterday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tried to give many details of Rafale deal during interviews. But she is just lying now to cover up the government's lies. She also lied on the non disclosure of price of Rafale aircraft."
Stepping up the attack, he says "Bhagado ka sath, luteron ka vikaas" is the ultimate goal of the PM Modi sarkar.
Other questions asked by Randeep Singh Surjewala:
"Why did not the 17 banks take any action against Vijay Mallya between Feb 28 and March 5 even though they were told to take action against him?"
"Is it okay for Finance Minister of a country to have a casual discussion with a fraudster?"
"How did PM Modi government allow Vijay Mallya's firms to take payment worth billions? Did Diageo not make payment worth 40 billion to Vijay Mallya's firm?"
"Why was Vijay Mallya not arrested even though an FIR was filed against him", asks Randeep Singh Surjewala.
Congress Attacks BJP on Vijay Mallya
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala says, there are five key dates which are important in the entire episode.
On July 29, 2015: A complaint was issued against him.
On October 16: CBI issues lookout notice against Vijay Mallya
On November 23: CBI dilutes the notice.
28 Feb 2016: 17 banks are given a suggestion to approach court and get Vijay Mallya's passport revoked. However, banks do not take any action.
March 01: Vijay Mallya meets Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and escapes later.
The government is lying on Rafale. The government is lying on Vijay Mallya. He was given a free passage out of the country by the Finance Minister: Congress President Rahul Gandhi
The Finance Minister has colluded with a criminal running away from the country: Rahul Gandhi
Finance Minister talks to an absconder, absconder tells him that he is going to London. Finance Minister doesn't tell CBI, ED or the police. Why? The arrest notice was changed to informed notice. This can be done only by the one who controls the CBI: Rahul Gandhi
Vijay Mallya said yesterday that he met Arun Jaitley-ji in the Parliament before leaving. Arun Jaitley writes blogs on all meetings but I don't know why there was no blog by him on this meeting. He (Mr Jaitley) said that he spoke only a few words to him (Vijay Mallya), which is a lie: Rahul Gandhi
Deliberate accosting by Mallya in the corridors of Parliament and Arun Jaitley rebuffing him to talk to banks for repayment of loans in just half sentence is sought to be made an issue by the Congress. It comes after Rahul Gandhi's visit to London. Are Mallya and Rahul Gandhi working in tandem?: Ravi Shankar Prasad
Rahul Gandhi has gone on back-foot over Kingfisher Airlines. Sometimes it seems the airline wasn't owned by Mallya but by the Gandhi family. Benefits that the Gandhi family got out of Kingfisher airlines via business class upgradation, free tickets etc is in public domain: Sambit Patra, BJP spokesperson
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said ,"After Mallya reveals his 'consultation meetings' before his smooth escape, with Fiscal Mismanagement Blog Minister Sh Jaitley - one thing is clear - BJP is running "tour travels & immigration" agency for "loot scoot & settle abroad" brigade".
The Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday 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 the Finance Minister while this probe is underway".
Vijay Mallya later said that there was no scheduled meeting. He said,"I said I happened to meet the finance minister."
"I did not even receive the papers that he was holding in his hand. Besides this one sentence exchange where he misused his privilege as a RS Member to further his commercial interest as a bank debtor, there is no question of my having ever given him an appointment to meet me": Arun Jaitley
"Since he (Vijay Mallya) was a Member of Rajya Sabha and he occasionally attended the House, he misused that privilege on one occasion, having been fully briefed about his earlier "bluff offers", I curtly told him "there was no point talking to me and he must make offers to his bankers," added Arun Jaitley.
"The statement of Vijay Mallaya that he met me & offered settlement is factually false in as much as it does not reflect truth. Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise," Arun Jaitley wrote in a tweet.
"I left because I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva, I met the finance minister before I left, repeated my offer to settle with the banks... that's the truth," Vijay Mallya told reporters outside the London's Westminster Magistrates' Court.