Arvind Kejriwal calls Mallya's claims on meeting Jaitley 'absolutely shocking'

Arvind Kejriwal calls Mallya's claims on meeting Jaitley 'absolutely shocking'

Asked if he could settle his dues, Mallya, who headed the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines and the United Breweries, said: "Obviously. Gandhis were willing to let the economy tank but wanted to keep Kingfisher Airlines afloat".

Shortly later, Jaitley hit back and rejected Mallya's claim that the fugitive businessman met him before he left India two years ago. It should be found out.

Meanwhile, his colleague RS Prasad wondered if Mallya and Rahul Gandhi were "working in tandem".

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused finance minister Arun Jaitley of colluding with a "criminal" and not informing investigating agencies about liquor baron Vijay Mallya's plan to leave the country.

He added that the meeting between Jaitley and Mallya lasted for 15-20 minutes.

Mallya's defence team has deposed a series of expert witnesses to claim he had no "fraudulent" intentions and that he is unlikely to get a fair trial in India. "I did not have any formal meeting scheduled with him", he said.

He also asserted that nobody tipped him off to run.

"Sometimes it seems the airline was not owned by Mallya, but by the Gandhi family in proxy", Patra said, adding that Rahul Gandhi, who himself is out on bail (in the National Herald case), had no right to question others on corruption. Later, Vijay Mallya too backtracked, confirming the minister's version of events. "I said that I happened to meet Mr Jaitley in Parliament, and I told him that I was leaving for London, and that I want to settle with the banks".

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With the Congress and BJP at loggerheads over who met whom a bigger question has come to light that needs clarity. Whether it was - a casual meeting or a structured meeting. Clearly, Mallya was declared as a defaulter even then.

CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said Mallya's escape reconfirmed how Modi government "enables big defaulters to loot public money and scoot". Originally, the lookout notice for him was to stop him and hand him over to the police. The finance minister dismissed it as "factually false" and said Vijay Mallya had accosted him in the corridor of parliament.

The extradition trial, which opened at the London court on 4 December past year, is aimed at laying out a prima facie case of fraud against Mallya.

Marking the conclusion of the trial, Westminster Magistrates' Court Judge Emma Arbuthnot fixed December 10 as the date on which she expects to deliver her verdict.

Jaitley, in a Facebook post, denied a settlement had been reached.

"In spite of this, the BJP government allowed him to flee with thousands of crores debt". There are CCTV cameras, we can all see that for proof.

FILE PHOTO: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley holds his briefcase as he arrives at the parliament to present the federal budget in New Delhi, India, February 1, 2018. "Chowkidaar nahin, Bhagidaar hai (Not a watchman, but a partner)", he tweeted in Hindi.

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