Absconding tycoon and former King of Good Times, Vijay Mallya made a sensational claim today.
Mallya has been wanted on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs. 9,000 crore and had abruptly left India in March 2016. Since then the Government of India has briefed media about their efforts in cornering the liquor baron and bringing him back to India so that he can be prosecuted and the loan amounts can be recovered.
I met the finance minster to settle matters before I left. The banks had filed objections to my settlement letters: Vijay Mallya outside London's Westminster Magistrates' Court
— ANI (@ANI) September 12, 2018
The Congress and other opposition parties immediately targeted the government.
Mallya in a statement at London today said that he had met the Union finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, before leaving India and made “repeated offers” to “settle issues”. This statement of his has a political storm, especially within the Congress party and other opposition parties saying it was proof of corrupt businessmen fleeing the country with the collusion of the government.
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. https://t.co/n39NfDw0rS
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) September 12, 2018
In a Facebook post, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said “the statement is factually false in as much as it does not reflect truth”.
Mallya further told the reporters outside London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court, where his extradition case is being heard,
“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.”
He has challenged an extradition request filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the UK, alleging that the condition in Indian jails is not humane. He, however, refused to divulge the details of the meeting, as reported by NDTV.
The 62-year-old tycoon also said he has made a “very comprehensive offer” before the Karnataka High Court, “so that everybody gets paid”.
Below is a part of the transcription of Mallya’s interaction with journalists outside the London court, as reported by the Indian Express:
Q: Mr Mallya did somebody tip you off in Parliament… about people going after you.. about charges against you
This is the allegation.. that you were tipped off.. that you were allowed to leave the country.
A: 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
Q: Why would somebody deny an offer to be paid, Mr Mallya? After all you were an MP and you were holding very high place in the Indian Parliament… why would anybody not accept your offer of payment…
A: It might interest you to know that the banks have filed objections in the court on my settlement applications.. you should ask them why they are not supporting me in my efforts to repay them. That’s the better way of looking at things.
Q: Could you tell us a little more about the meeting with the Finance Minister
A: Why should I be telling you?
— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) September 12, 2018
Entire Modi government is hand in glove with scamsters & absconders. They hatched a plot to loot hundreds of thousands of Crores. PM & FM must respond on this. https://t.co/uDuby8c5li
— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) September 12, 2018
Finance Minister ought to respond. Obviously, PM knew about it. https://t.co/KSR13ODOQx
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) September 12, 2018
Not only the finance minister, the entire BJP must come clean on its relations with Vijay Mallya.
— Yashwant Sinha (@YashwantSinha) September 12, 2018
No media believed when Swamy sir hinted the same. They are all now believing Vijay Mallya. Huh! pic.twitter.com/uFQIY8nYeS
— Unofficial Sususwamy (@swamv39) September 12, 2018
Why did @arunjaitley not share a Facebook post on his meeting with Vijay Mallya who had come to “settle matters” before he absconded to the UK? Why do we need to hear this from a fugitive? Why is the Modi govt hiding key information from citizens? This is a very serious matter!
— Salman Anees Soz (@SalmanSoz) September 12, 2018
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) September 12, 2018
ANI quotes Congress' Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Vijay Mallya's claim that he met FM Arun Jaitley before he left: Congress has been repeatedly asserting for last over 18 months that not only Vijay Mallya but Nirav Modi, Choksi & many others have been allowed with impunity pic.twitter.com/MwB9i7lSkt
— Times of India (@timesofindia) September 12, 2018