Embattled businessman Vijay Mallya told reporters outside London's Westminster Magistrates' Court that he met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving the country and offered to settle his dues with the Indian banks. Indian authorities wouldn't have been in a situation to endlessly wait outside United Kingdom court rooms to get a favourable judgment for Mallya's extradition and even make a presentation to United Kingdom judges about the facilities an conditions of Indian jails.
Further alleging "collusion" between Jaitley and Mallya, the Congress president demanded resignation of the Finance Minister.
Mallya told media outside of court that he had met Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to settle matters before he left the country. Jaitley also issued a clarification over the matter in his Facebook post.
Yesterday, Mallya said in London that he met the finance minister before he left India.
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Rahul Gandhi called Mallya's claim "extremely serious allegations".
Jaitley added that Mallya, a member of the Rajya Sabha, occasionally attended Parliament and that he "misused" that privilege on one occasion.
"Mr Jaitley is lying; the government is lying", Gandhi said.
Also at the press conference, Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP PL Punia alleged that he saw Mallya meeting Jaitley in Parliament on March 1, adding that the meeting lasted for about 15 minutes first at a corridor and then at Central Hall.
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In London, talking to reporters, Mallya said the media should question the banks why they are not supporting him in his efforts to repay.
One can forget about Mallya's talk with Jaitley about the settlement part, this was anyway not acceptable for banks since Mallya was offering much less than what the banks claimed he owed them. Later, Vijay Mallya too backtracked, confirming the minister's version of events. This provided the opposition some fodder to target Jaitley and the Congress said that the revelations were an embarrassment to the government. I even did not receive any paper from him at that time.
"The entire Gandhi family was in fact helping Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines with the sweet deal", Patra said, while showing a bunch of documents related to the loans given by banks to the airline.
The claim made by Mallya, facing charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to Rs 9,000 crore, has triggered a political storm, with the Congress saying the government must explain how and why Mallya was allowed to leave India. He was arrested by the Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant in April this year. "The banks had filed objections to my settlement letters", he had said. "We are taking action as per law to protect our interests", said Bhattacharya.
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