BJP Hits Back: "Seems Rahul Gandhi Owned Kingfisher Airline By Proxy"

BJP Hits Back: "Seems Rahul Gandhi Owned Kingfisher Airline By Proxy"

BJP Hits Back: "Seems Rahul Gandhi Owned Kingfisher Airline By Proxy"

New Delhi: Yesterday, The fugitive businessman claimed to have met Union Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving India. The statement has caused a rage since morning, with the BJP alleging that it was the Congress and the Gandhi family who were close to the fugitive liquor baron. The ruling Bhartiya Janata Party said it appears that Mr Gandhi, the Congress President owned the now defunct Kingfisher Airline by proxy and there are "18 pages worth of evidence" about their links.

"Papers show that Kingfisher Airlines was not owned by Mallya but by the Gandhi parivaar," BJP spokesman Sambit Patra said at a press conference.

Mr Patra, read out a bunch of papers, which he said were evidence of the links between the Congress and Mr Mallya said the loans to the now defunct airline were restructured twice -- in 2008 and 2012. He added that the second time it was done by the request of the government and stated  what he said were letters from the RBI. The BJP spokesperson said that the government requests, mentioned that the favour should be extended "only for Kingfisher,"

"That he and his mother Sonia Gandhi used to get free business upgrade (in Kingfisher flights) is something which is in the public domain," Mr Patra added.

The business tycoon, who is in London for the hearing of his extradition case,  is wanted in India, on the charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs. 9,000 crore. Mr Mallya said that he met Mr Jaitley in 2016, before leaving India. However, the allegiations were dismissed by the finance minister as "factually false" and said Vijay Mallya had accosted him in the corridor of parliament. The Kingfisher boss later backtracked too, confirming the minister's version of events.

"The appointment was not done in corridor but in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's office. Manmohan Singh helped Kingfisher Airlines... Sonia, Rahul-ji, please hold a press conference and provide answers to this," Sambit Patra said.

Minutes later,  Rahul Gandhi and other Senior Congress Leader held a press conference, in which Mr Gandhi alleged that one of its leaders had witnessed Arun Jaitley and Vijay Mallya having a discussion in parliament just two days before the fugitive tycoon's flight to the UK.

"It was a 15-20 minute, sit-down meeting...The finance minister has to explain to the country why he has colluded with the criminal and why was he having a meeting with a criminal," he added.

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