Congress President Rahul Gandhi today launched a scathing attack on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while claiming that the senior BJP leader had a “15-20-minute meeting” with beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya at the central hall in Parliament on March 1, 2016, just a day before Kingfisher boss fled to London. Gandhi alleged that Congress Rajya Sabha MP P. L. Punia had seen both FM Jaitley and Mallya meet during the Budget session in 2016.
While talking to media, Punia alleged, “On 1st March 2016, when I was in Central Hall of Parliament House, I witnessed FM Jaitley and Vijay Mallya talking discretely. On 3rd March, we heard from the media that he fled the country on 2nd March 2016.” “I have clearly stated about this in each of my interview with media. There are CCTV cameras, we can all see that for proof. If I’m wrong I’ll resign from politics,” Punia asserted.
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Latching on to the Mallya’s statement that he “offered to settle the matter with bank”, Gandhi on Thursday raised a few questions. “The notice issued for Vijay Mallya was changed to the ‘inform notice’ from a ‘block notice’. No one can do this other than CBI. They should clarify if they did this on their own or were orders given to CBI?” wondered the Congress President.
Apart from this Gandhi also asked “FM Jaitley first claimed that he never met Vijay Mallya, but Mr. Mallya met him in the corridor and informed that he was going to London. Why didn’t FM then inform CBI or ED?” Gandhi also alleged that “This is a clear-cut case of collusion. There is some deal between them. FM Jaitley must resign and this should be investigated.” He said, “Jaitley is lying, the government is lying.”
Controversy erupted yesterday when the 62-year-old fugitive Kingfisher Airline boss claimed “I met the finance minister before I left, repeated my offer to settle with the banks. That is the truth.” In a strong rebuttal, Jaitley had rejected the charges saying “Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise.”