New Delhi, Dec 11 : Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday questioned the BJP-led government for terming the ruling of a British court to extradite fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya to India as a “great day” and said there was no major victory as he had “stolen” Rs 9,000 crore.
“Why is that a major victory, why are they taking it as a major victory? The question here is the following: the farmers of this country are committing suicide daily, they do not have access to the Indian banking system. Vijay Mallya stole Rs 9,000 crore,” Gandhi replied to a question when asked that BJP government is claiming victory over the decision of the UK court allowing Mallya’s extradition.
He was addressing the media at Parliament House Annexe after an all-party meeting.
“Nirav Modi has stolen Rs 35,000 crore with his friend Mehul Choksi, who are close to the Prime Minister and the list goes on. So, it is not question of Vijay Mallya being extradited, it is the question of the Indian banking system being handed over to Modi’s friends…it’s called crony capitalism,” Gandhi added.
Gandhi’s remarks came after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley welcomed the UK court’s judgement, calling it a “great day for India”.
The Westminster Magistrates’ Court in the UK on Monday gave its ruling following a prolonged litigation involving Mallya, who fled India in March 2016, that he must be extradited to India where he is accused of committing bank frauds amounting to Rs 9,000 crore.
The verdict came six days after British national and middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, Christian Michael, was extradited to India from Dubai.
Mallya has, however, repeatedly denied fleeing India and said he was ready to pay back the money he owed to Indian banks.
Proceedings are on before the Mumbai Special Court against Mallya under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.
Late in 2017, India filed extradition proceedings against Mallya which he has contested. He is currently on bail in London.