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. Mallya, who is facing charges of bank loan fraud amounting to Rs 9,000 crore, claimed that in the meeting he “repeated” his offer to “settle with the banks”. Mr Jaitley, however, denied that he gave a formal appointment to Mallya since 2014, adding that he met him in the parliament corridor. Mr Jaitley said he had been briefed about Mallya’s “bluff offers” earlier, and he had curtly told the businessman that “there was no point talking to me and he must make offers to his bankers”.
The opposition parties attacked the government after Vijay Mallya’s comment. Congress President Rahul Gandhi demanded an independent probe into the matter. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote in a tweet,”PM Modi meets Neerav Modi before he flees the country. FM meets Vijay Mallya before he flees India. What transpired in these meetings? People want to know.”
Here are the live updates:
“I did not even receive the papers that he was holding in his hand. Besides this one sentence exchange where he misused his privilege as a RS Member to further his commercial interest as a bank debtor, there is no question of my having ever given him an appointment to meet me”: Arun Jaitley
“Since he (Vijay Mallya) was a Member of Rajya Sabha and he occasionally attended the House, he misused that privilege on one occasion, having been fully briefed about his earlier “bluff offers”, I curtly told him “there was no point talking to me and he must make offers to his bankers,” added Arun Jaitley.
“The statement of Vijay Mallaya that he met me & offered settlement is factually false in as much as it does not reflect truth. Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise,” Arun Jaitley wrote in a tweet.
“I left because I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva, I met the finance minister before I left, repeated my offer to settle with the banks… that’s the truth,” Vijay Mallya told reporters outside the London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court.