In a press section at Congress headquarters, party leader Rahul Gandhi claimed that Vijay Mallya told Arun Jaitley that he wanted to leave the country and that the finance minister had "teamed" with the fleeing businessman. The congressional press conference took place almost simultaneously after BJP accused Rahul Gandhi of "using black money" and said they had evidence.
Gandhi said the FM "worked with a criminal who ran away from the country". Congress Rajya Sabha member PL Punia told the conference that he was witnessing a meeting between Jaitley and Mallya, which lasted 20 minutes on March 1, 2016.
Punia said it was "clear that he talked to Jaitley before he went to London." Punia asked journalists to review the CCTV material and promised to end the policy if it turned out to be wrong.
Puniya said, "I saw Jaitley and Mallya talking in the corner, and 5-7 minutes later they continued their discussion on the bench." He claimed that Mallya had come for the first time just to meet Jaitley. He added that when Mallya went to London, he responded to Mallya
Rahul Gandhi added: "The finance minister has been working with a criminal who ran away from the country, the finance minister is talking to a day trippers, the escape agent tells him he is going to London, the finance minister does not tell the CBI, the ED or the police why Warrant has been changed to a notification, which can only be done by someone controlling CBI. "
,@RahulGandhi says that @arunjaitley Lies about his brief meeting with Vijay Mallya. Says PL Punia was witness to the meeting, which went for 15-20 minutes. Looking for CCTV footage from March 1, says PL Punia @ dna pic.twitter.com/7DqVScGRd3
– amrita madhukalya (@visual_kei) September 13, 2018
Gandhi went on to attack Jaitley, he said he wrote long blogs, but never mentioned this meeting. Gandhi sharpened his attack and urged Jaitley to clarify his point of view to explain whether the order came from above.
He added: "The FM has agreed with a criminal who ran away from the country, Criminal told him he was running away, the finance minister did not inform ED, CBI means he has a deal."
Rahul used black money, evidence: BJP
Moments before the congressional press conference began, BJP struck back by accusing Rahul Gandhi of "using black money."
At a press conference at BJP Headquarters, Sambit Patra, the spokesman for the party, claimed that they had evidence that Rahul Gandhi had "used black money."
He further claimed that the BJP had evidence that the Gandhi family helped Vijay Mallya with "sweet" business.
He added that people who are released on bail should not question "innocent people" /
He claimed that Rahul Gandhi Rs had taken 1 Crore loan from a shell company and that the party had the "confession of one of the company's directors".
He added, "There are documents showing how the RBI and UPA have been doing sweet deals under Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh Kingfisher Airlines." Gandhis were ready to fuel the economy, Kingfisher Airlines said but stay afloat. "
Earlier, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had defended his Cabinet colleague and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, saying that volatile businessman Vijay Mallya had "misused the presence of the Foreign Ministry in the corridor of parliament."
He said: "He (Mallya) had unduly exploited his (FM) presence in the parliamentary corridor, it is a lie and a violation of decency Who used to celebrate in Goa Who were his guests abroad? It should be found out, Jo Unke beneficiaries hein, chor machaye shor … Do not let him go while Narendra Modi is PM no matter how strong the fugitive is, he'll be brought back. "
He (Mallya) had unduly exploited his (FM) presence in the parliamentary corridor. It is a lie and a violation of decency. When it comes to the government, the Union Min Dharmendra Pradhan comes in handy #VijayMallya pic.twitter.com/lKRSblePFP
– ANI (@ANI) September 13, 2018
Who was once in Goa, who were his guests abroad? Jo Unke beneficiaries hain, chor machaye shor … Do not let him go while Narendra Modi PM is no matter how strong the fugitive is, he will be brought back: Union Min D Pradhan #VijayMallya pic.twitter.com/X8uUy4YmhH
– ANI (@ANI) September 13, 2018
Meanwhile, his colleague RS Prasad wondered if Mallya and Rahul Gandhi were "working together".
The intention to address Mallya in the corridors of parliament and Jaitley, who is to call him off to talk to banks to pay back loans in just half a sentence, is sought by Congress. It comes after Rahul Gandhi's visit to London. Are Mallya & R Gandhi in Tandem ?: RS Prasad pic.twitter.com/DkE07ALwqD
– ANI (@ANI) September 13, 2018
I can understand that making the banking system transparent and accountable has made the Congress party uncomfortable. From 1947 to 2008, Rs.18 lakh crore bank loans were disbursed and raised to Rs.52 lakh crore under UPA-II until 2014, led by congres: Ravi Shankar Prasad
– ANI (@ANI) September 13, 2018
Opposition parties responded Wednesday to Vijay Mallya's statement that he met Arun Jaitley before he left India and demanded an investigation into the allegation of the Volatile Alcohol Bar, which was labeled "factually false" by the Finance Minister.
Congressman Rahul Gandhi tweets Prime Minister Narendra Modi should immediately order an independent investigation into Mally's "extremely serious allegations" and Jaitley should resign during the ongoing investigation.
Mallya's claim for fraud and money laundering of Rs 9,000 crore has triggered a political storm. Congress said the government must explain how and why Mallya was allowed to leave India.
However, Jaitley said he had never given Mallya an appointment after becoming a minister in 2014, but the alcohol baron abused his position as an MP to receive him once in parliament.
Shortly after Jaitley's refutation, Mallya seemed to weaken the seriousness of his claim, saying it was not a "formal meeting" and that he had "accidentally met" the minister when he told him he was going to London. Mallya also said that no one "tapped" him to flee the country.
BJP boss Subramanian Swamy tweeted: "I've learned from my sources that the" Lookout Notice "issued by CBI for Mallya has changed from" Block Departure "to" Report Departure "on October 24, 2015, on someone's orders in MoF. Who? (Sic) "Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, also described as" absolutely shocking "by the unveiling of Mallya, asked," Why has the Finance Minister hidden this information so far? "" Absolutely shocking. "PM Modi meets Neerav (sic) modes before fleeing the country FM meets Vijay Mallya before fleeing India What happened at these meetings People want to know, "Kejriwal said on Twitter.
Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, a former union finance minister who had criticized Jaitley and his dealings with the ministry, said the entire BJP leadership, not just the finance minister, needed to cleanse their ties to Mallya.
Congressman Abhishek Singhvi said the government was "fully complicit" in escaping Mallya and Punjab National Bank scams accusing Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi of India.
"Everyone was complacent and everyone was aware … Whether it was a chance meeting or a structured meeting, we need adequate revelations, full requests," he said.
Singhvi said that the controversial question remains as to why no action was taken before Mallya fled the country.
He said Mally's assertion was a confirmation of Congress's position that the government always knew about the retreating defectors. He said India wants to know what happened during the meeting between Mallya and Jaitley.
CPI (M) Secretary General, Sitaram Yechury, said Mally's escape is yet another testament to how the Modes' government allows "the big defaulters to plunder and clear public money."
"The key point is how did he get away with" lookout news "?" Yechury tweeted while mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi by drawing a picture of him resting on a rock and looking up into the sky.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said the entire NDA government is "hand in hand" with scammers and secrets.
"They've made a conspiracy to loot hundreds of thousands of crores, and PM and FM have to respond," Yadav said in a tweet.
With Mallya's offer to pay overdue loans of more than Rs 9,000 crore to its now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines as a "bluff offer," Jaitley said he had not even taken the alcohol baron's papers during this brief encounter.
Mallya, 62, is fighting numerous lawsuits in the UK and at home for fraud and money laundering charges and extradition to India.
"I left because I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva, I met the Minister of Finance before I left, repeated my offer to settle with the banks, that's the truth," he told reporters in a London court, the one case heard for his extradition.
The judgment in the case of extradition will be announced on 10th December.
Congress also said on its official Twitter handle that Mallya Jaitley "hit several times" before leaving the country to discuss a settlement plan.
"Nonetheless, the BJP government allowed him to flee with thousands of crore debts, so we need more evidence that this government is in the pockets of the Crony capitalists." Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala said Mallya's revelation shows that the BJP is "a loot, tour and immigration office for foreigners".
"Vijay Mallya left India after bidding farewell to Arun Jaitley with the money of the country – Chowkidaar nahin, Bhagidaar hai (not a security guard but a partner)", he tweeted in Hindi.
With contributions by Amrita Madhukalya and PTI