Vijay Mallya escaped with help of PM Modi: Rahul Gandhi

Vijay Mallya

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that he helped absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya in fleeing the country. He said Mallya’s “great escape” was aided by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which could not do so without the Prime Minister’s approval.

“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,” Gandhi tweeted.

Gandhi’s accusations come a day after the Congress Party held a press conference and claimed that party leader P.L. Punia was a witness to the Arun Jaitley-Vijay Mallya meeting.

“On 1st March 2016, when I was in the Central Hall of Parliament House, I witnessed Arun Jaitley and Vijay Mallya talking discreetly. On 3rd March, we heard from 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 claimed while addressing a press conference on Thursday.

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Congress also demanded Jaitley’s resignation for hiding about meeting Mallya for 2.5 years.

“For 2.5 yrs Mr Jaitley has hidden from the public & the investigation agencies the meeting, he now suddenly remembers, in which Mr Mallya told him he was leaving for London. This is enough to make his continuance as FM untenable & disgraceful. #ArunJaitleyStepDown,” the Congress Chief tweeted.

Controversy erupted when Mallya told reporters outside London’s Westminster magistrate’s court on Wednesday that he had met Arun Jaitley before leaving India and told him he’s going to London.

“I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva. I met the Finance Minister before I left…repeated my offer to settle with the banks. That is the truth,” Mallya told reporters.

However, Jaitley denied having any formal meeting with Mallya and said since 2014, he had never given him any appointment to meet him and the question of Mallya having met him does not arise.

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