I met the Finance Minister before I left, repeated my offer to settle with the banks", says Vijay Mallya outside London's Westminster Magistrates' Court. However, within minutes of Arun Jaitley countering him publicly, Vijay Mallya did a massive U-turn and said he didn't have a formal meeting with the Finance Minister.
"I left India because I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva. Before leaving I met the finance minister and offered to settle (the issue with the banks)," Mallya said, without naming the minister. Vijay Mallya said this while coming out after the extradition hearing at the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London.
No guess, Arun Jaitley was the Finance Minister in 2016 when Mallya left India. So as per Vijay Mallya, he had met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving the country.
Immediately after the statement, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted "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."
AAP official Facebook page jumped the gun and wrote "Confession of Vijay Mallya that he met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to "settle matters" before he left India raises a big question on the intentions of the BJP-led Central Government. This clearly exposes the role of Central Government in helping Vijay Mallya fleeing the country with hard earned money worth Rs 9,000 crores of the general public."
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in a Facebook post, has denied the meeting Mallya before he left for the UK.
In his note, Jaitley said he has never given any appointment to meet Mallya. But since he was an MP of the Rajya Sabha, while attending the House, he misused that privilege to catch up with Jaitley while he was walking to his room. Jaitley says that Mallya paced up with him and said he was making an offer on the settlement. However, since he was aware of these prior ‘bluff offers’, Jaitley told him that instead of him, Mallya should talk to bankers.
Jaitley says he had not even accepted papers Mallya was carrying. Other than this conversation, which happened when Mallya ‘misused his privilege as a Rajya Sabha member’, Jaitley had no other exchange with him and had not given him any appointment to meet him.
Within minutes of Arun Jaitley countering him publicly, Vijay Mallya did a massive U-turn and said he didn't have a formal meeting with the Finance Minister.
Mallya's full statement, when asked to elaborate on his meeting with Arun Jaitley, went as follows:
I am not going to talk about it. I am afraid this controversy has been created by my friends in the media. I happen to answer a question...The circumstances under which I flew out... I said that I happened to meet Mr Jaitley in the Parliament and I had told him that I was leaving for London and I want to settle with the banks and to re-facilitate discussions. I did not have any formal meetings scheduled with him. I met him in the Parliament and I have expressed to him my willingness to settle on many occasions. I don't understand what this controversy is all about
He also said, "I have met several members of several parties in Parliament to settle this issue" as reported by Republic TV.
All the above events happened yesterday (12th September), but today Rahul Gandhi revived this issue by asking the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to resign through a tweet "Given Vijay Mallya’s extremely serious allegations in London today, the PM should immediately order an independent probe into the matter. Arun Jaitley should step down as Finance Minister while this probe is underway."
Meanwhile, The Congress has demanded that the government must reveal details of Mallya's meetings with Jaitley.
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