Continuing his attack on the government over the Vijay Mallya case, Congress president Rahul Gandhi Friday alleged the role of CBI in abetting the fugitive tycoon in escaping from the country and said it was “inconceivable” that this was done without Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approval.
Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, Gandhi said, “Mallya’s Great Escape was aided by the CBI quietly changing the ‘Detain’ notice for him, to ‘Inform’. The CBI reports directly to the PM. It is inconceivable that the CBI, in such a high profile, controversial case, would change a lookout notice without the approval of the PM.”
Mallya’s Great Escape was aided by the CBI quietly changing the “Detain” notice for him, to “Inform”. The CBI reports directly to the PM. It is inconceivable that the CBI, in such a high profile, controversial case, would change a lookout notice without the approval of the PM.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 14, 2018
The government and the Opposition have been trading charges ever since Vijay Mallya claimed Wednesday that he met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before he left India for London. Jaitley was quick with his rebuttal, describing Mallya’s claim as “factually false” and saying that the businessman had only briefly caught up with him in Parliament. Mallya himself downplayed his claim later to say there was “no formal meeting”.
However, demanding his resignation, Gandhi on Thursday accused Jaitley of lying to hide the “free passage” he allegedly gave to Mallya to escape from the country. The Congress rested its allegations over its Rajya Sabha MP P L Punia’s claim that he had seen Jaitley in “an elaborate 15-20 minute meeting” with Mallya on March 1, 2016, a day before the businessman left India.
BJP, in a counter-reaction, claimed that the Gandhi family had tried to salvage the sinking Kingfisher Airlines with a “sweet deal“. Union minister Piyush Goyal said the UPA started relaxing norms to favour Kingfisher Airlines in 2010 and alleged that the Congress party and its leaders, including the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, were “involved in a conspiracy to bail out Kingfisher Airlines”. Goyal said that loans were extended to the airlines, “again and again”.