Congress slams Jaitley after Mallya says he met him, demands response from government

Abhishek Manu Singhvi

New Delhi, As fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya on Wednesday said he had met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving the country, the Congress took a dig at him dubbing him as “fiscal mismanagement blog minister” and demanded a detailed response and disclosure from the government and inquiry into his claims.

The Congress said the BJP is running a “tour, travels and immigration” agency for “loot, scoot and settle abroad” brigade.

“After Mallya reveals his ‘consultation meetings’ before his smooth escape, with Fiscal Mismanagement Blog Minister Sh Jaitley, one thing is clear: BJP is running a tour, travels and immigration agency for loot, scoot and settle abroad brigade,” Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted.

The fugitive liquor baron, wanted in India for his alleged role in a multi-crore bank loan fraud case, claimed on Wednesday that he had met the Finance Minister before leaving India in 2016 and made an offer of settlement.

“I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva. I met the Finance Minister before I left…repeated my offer to settle with the banks. That is the truth,” he told reporters outside a Westminster court where he is contesting an extradition case filed by Indian authorities.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said Congress demands a proper response from the government, which is formal, structured, detailed and comprehensive. “We are not making value judgments. Nation needs to know and government needs to answer,” said Singhvi.

“Congress has been repeatedly asserting for the last over 18 months that not only Vijay Mallya but Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and so many others have been allowed to leave with impunity and with enormous mounting bank debts,” he said.

Singhvi said: “The phrase used by Mallya is that he met the finance minister. I know there is a clarification, but ‘met the finance minister’ does not suggest a passing, casual, walking meeting inside the House of Rajya Sabha or in Parliament.”

He said: “I think a more categorical and a more detailed response must be made. We had earlier photographs of Nirav Modi and others being photographed in Gujarat and in Switzerland with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

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