Liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, who had represented Karnataka twice in the Rajya Sabha, today said it was his democratic right to vote in the state assembly polls, but lamented that he cannot travel to India, where he is wanted to face charges of fraud and money laundering.
The 62-year-old former businessman parliamentarian had first represented Karnataka as the member of the Upper House of Parliament between April 10, 2002, and April 9, 2008.
“It is my democratic right to vote in Karnataka, but as you know I am here and cannot travel,” he told reporters outside the Westminister Magistrate’s Court in connection with a hearing in his ongoing extradition trial, to rule if he can be extradited to India to face charges for financial irregularities involving an amount of around Rs 9,000 crores, as well as money laundering cases.
He was re-elected for the Rajya Sabha from the southern state on July 1, 2010, and resigned on May 5, 2016, before his the expiry of his term on June 30, 2016. He is in the UK since March 2016.
When asked about his opinion on the Karnataka polls, he said “I haven’t been following the politics so closely, so I have no opinion (on the polls).”
The elections for the 224-member Karnataka Legislative Assembly is scheduled to be held across the state on May 12. The results will be out on May 15.