In a fresh attack on Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today dragged the names of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the Vijay Mallya loan controversy. The BJP has accused the two top Congress leaders of letting their “corrupt hands” help Mallya get loans from banks.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra quoted letters written by Mallya to Congress leaders to prove the saffron party’s allegation.
According to Patra, one of the letters show that Mallya had sought the intervention of then PM Singh, following which loans were issued to the troubled business man’s Kingfisher Airlines. According to Patra, Singh’s Principal Secretary Pulok Chatterjee used to “snatch files” from him to take them to Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s residence at 10 Janpath.
After one purported letter written on November 14, 2011 by Mallya, Singh had told media that KFA needed to be brought out of trouble. In another letter, Mallya had even told Singh that he was “relieved” and “pleased”. Mallya had also mentioned that a top PMO official had talked to ministries concerned after the letter. In another letter, Mallya had sought Chidambaram’s help to get NOC from State Bank of India. The SBI was heading the consortium of banks which had given unrecovered loans to Mallya’s airline.
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Mallya, who is absconding after defaulting on payment of Rs 9000 crore loan to banks, had left India in March last year.
Meanwhile, the Congress has denied helping Mallya. The party has said letters written by Mallya were of ordinary nature and the government of the day had followed law.
Interestingly on January 28, Mallya had blamed the then UPA government’s policies for Kingfisher troubles. In a series of tweets, Mallya had said he sought help for a change in policy and hadn’t beg for loans.
“KFA collapsed with oil at USD 140 per barrel and state sales tax on top rupee devaluation. No FDI engine failures.Economic depression. Need more?” Mallya asked in a tweet.
“And KFA being the largest domestic airline was the worst hit. Government bailed out Air India, but did not bail out KFA. So much for “favours”, he said further.
Mallya has been accused of fraud by SEBI and CBI. However, the absconding businessman has denied he committed fraud.
The Congress has accused BJP of helping Mallya flee the country. In contrast, BJP has accused Congress of illegally giving loans to Mallya. It appears both parties are playing football over the beleaguered businessman who continues to enjoy a life in hiding in London. With Congress’ clarification today, it seems no one helped Mallya. It may be possible, that money chased Mallya and found itself in his hands!