Reacting to Vijay Mallya’s comment that he met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving India, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that PM Narendra Modi should launch an independent probe into the matter.
The Congress chief demanded Jaitley’s resignation over Mallya’s allegation in London.
“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,” Gandhi said in a tweet.
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.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 12, 2018
On Wednesday, in a shocking revelation, business tycoon Mallya, while talking to media in London, said that he had met Jaitley before leaving India.
“I met the finance minster to settle matters before I left. The banks had filed objections to my settlement letters,” Mallya said outside the Westminster Magistrates’ Court where he had come for a hearing in his extradition case.
However, he later said that there was not a formal meeting between the both.
“I was standing here (outside the Westminster Magistrates’ Court which will be giving its verdict in his extradition case on 10 December) during lunch break. I said I happened to meet Mr Jaitley in Parliament and I told him that I was leaving for London and that I want to settle with the banks and would he please facilitate the discussions. I did not have any formal meetings scheduled with him. I met him often enough in Parliament, in the House and in Central Hall, and I have expressed to him my willingness to settle (the dues) on many an occasion,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jaitley has rejected Vijay Mallya’s claim that he had met the absconding bank fraud accused before he fled the nation in March 2016.
In a statement issued on Facebook, the Finance Minister said that Mallya’s statement is “factually false”.
Jaitley said that he has not met the 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airline boss since 2014 but added that Mallya had “misused” his privilege of being a Member of the Rajya Sabha on one occasion.
“Since 2014, I have never given him (Mallya) any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise,” said Jaitley.
Recalling the occasion when Mallya “misused” his position as an MP, Jaitley wrote that the fraud accused had paced up to catch up with him when the FM was walking out of the House to go to his room.
“He paced up to catch up with me and while walking uttered a sentence that ‘I am making an offer of settlement’. 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’,” said Jaitley.
The liquor baron is facing money laundering charges in multi-crore fraud case in India, which wants him extradited from the UK where he fled to in March 2016.