New Delhi, Sep 13: Absconding businessman Vijay Mallya's claim that he had a "meeting" with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving for London has created a political controversy. Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday that the finance minister Arun Jaitley colluded with Vijay Mallya running away from the country.
Speaking at the press conference, Gandhi said,''Vijay Mallya said yesterday that he met Arun Jaitley ji in the Parliament before leaving. Arun Jaitley writes blogs on all meetings but I don't know why there was no blog by him on this meeting. He(FM)said that he spoke only a few words to him (Vijay Mallya), which is a lie.''
He also said,''Finance Minister talks to an absconder, absconder tells him that he is going to London. Finance Minister doesn't tell CBI, ED or police. Why? The arrest notice was changed to informed notice. This can be done only by the one who controls CBI.''
Gandhi said,''The Finance Minister has colluded in a criminal running away from the country.''
Gandhi said that the government has been lying about everything - Rafale deal, Vijay Mallya's escape. He further said that Vijay Mallya was given a free passage out of the country by the Finance Minister.
''Even if he (Mallya) caught up with you in the corridor why did you not tell the CBI, ED that he's going to flee, catch him? This is clearly a collusion, there is definitely a deal. Finance Minister should clearly say what transpired and he should resign,'' Gandhi also said.
Claiming that Congress has proof of Jaitley and Mallya meeting, Punia said that he had informed the media of Jaitley-Mallya meeting. "They have been quiet for one and a half year. Jaitley has addressed the Parliament ever since but he never mentioned the meeting (however small). This is breach of trust. There is CCTV footage of the two meeting. If proven wrong I will quit politics, or Jaitley ji should quit," said Punia.
Earlier, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan defended his cabinet colleague and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying absconding businessman Vijay Mallya took 'undue advantage of the FM's presence in Parliament corridor'.
He said: "He (Mallya)had taken undue advantage of his (FM)presence in Parliament corridor. It's a lie&violation of decorum. Who used to go to parties in Goa? Who used to be his guests abroad? It should be found out. Jo unke beneficiaries hain ,chor machaye shor...Won't let him go, as long as Narendra Modi is PM, however strong might the fugitive be, he'll be brought back."