Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Arvind Kejriwal calls Mallya's claims on meeting Jaitley 'absolutely shocking'

Arvind Kejriwal calls Mallya's claims on meeting Jaitley 'absolutely shocking'

The political battle over Vijay Mallya's yesterday's claim of meeting Union Minister Arun Jaitley raged since morning, with the BJP alleging that it was the Congress and the Gandhi family who were close to the fugitive liquor baron.

However, in a series of tweets Finance Minister Arjun Jaitley labeled Mallya's claim as "false". FM meets Vijay Mallya before he flees India.

Shortly later, Jaitley hit back and rejected Mallya's claim that the fugitive businessman met him before he left India two years ago.

Targetting Congress chief Rahul Gandhi Sambit Patra said people who are out on bail should not question innocent people.

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. The finance minister dismissed it as "factually false" and said Vijay Mallya had accosted him in the corridor of parliament. "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", Jaitley said in a Facebook post following Mallya's statement.

At a press conference on Thursday, Rahul Gandhi insisted that the meeting between the minister and Mallya had gone on for much longer in parliament's central hall on 1 March.

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In a swipe at the government's "sabka saath, sabka vikas" slogan, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the BJP's sole aim now was bhagode ka saath, lootero ka vikas' (helping absconders and enriching looters).

Adding another twist to the Vijay Mallya saga, a UK court today set December 10 as the date for the verdict on Vijay Mallyas's extradition from United Kingdom. Clearly, Mallya was declared as a defaulter even then.

"I did not even receive the papers he was holding in his hand", Jaitley said.

His lawyer, Clare Montgomery, told London's Westminster Magistrates Court that the Indian government had failed to provide any substantial evidence to justify extraditing him.

Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, too, launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Jaitley. Had the government moved the court pushing for Mallya's detention, or directed the investigators including CBI to detain him citing the seriousness of the case, or at least if the CBI hadn't changed the nature of look out notice a few months before the escape, Mallya would not have left the country.

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