New Delhi, Sep 12: Vijay Mallya's remark that he had met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving India has sent the political temperatures soaring. The oppositions parties are up in arms against the government and leaving no stone unturned to corner the NDA.
Mallya had earlier said he had met Jaitley and informed him about leaving India, to which the Finance Minister said that liquor baron's statement was "factually false". Jaitley, however, said that once in Parliament Mallya tried to strike a conversation with him over the settling of debts, to which the Finance Minister said that the former Kingfisher chief should talk to banks.
Congress leader Anand Sharma asked as to why the Finance Minister did not mention about the meeting in question in Parliament earlier.
"Vijay Mallya has run away after looting money from banks. Govt had this info. So, when Finance Minister gave statements in Parliament on Vijay Mallya issue,he should have mentioned about this meeting with Mallya. Only the Finance Minister can tell why he didn't tell about it?" Sharma told news agency ANI.
CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury said that the government should own up to the fact that they allowed this loot to happen.
"It is a fact that all of us had known earlier. Whatever denials govt may issue, it confirms that all those who looted public money by taking loans from banks and absconded, not one of them happened to leave the country without knowledge of the government," he told ANI.
"Phrase used by Mallya today is that 'he met FM'. But 'met the FM' doesn't suggest a passing, casual, walking meeting inside the House of Rajya Sabha. I think more categorical and detailed response must be had. Question remains how could he have left after everyone knew of debts and NPAs," said Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss, who has been on bail on an extradition warrant since his arrest in UK last April, is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs. 9,000 crores. The court has reserved its verdict and would pronounce it on December 10.