Congress president Rahul Gandhi demanded an immediate investigation into the “extremely serious” allegations and resignation of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
“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,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted.
Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that for the past 18 months, the Congress had been asserting that not only Mr. Mallya, but Mehul Choksi and so many others had been allowed to leave the country with impunity. And despite the hullabaloo to bring them back, the Narendra Modi government had failed to do so.
“The phrase used by Mr. Mallya is that ‘he met the Finance Minister’. It does not suggest a passing, casual or walking meeting in Parliament,” he said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitely in a response said that Mr Mallya misused the privilege of being a Rajya Sabha member on “one occasion”.
“The moot question remains, why was no action taken against him? Why was he allowed to leave when everyone was cognisant and everyone was aware! How could he have left after everyone knew of these debts and after he had made offer to settle,” he added.
Congress media in-charge Randeep Surjewala in a tweet said that Mr. Mallya’s “consultation meetings” with the “Fiscal Management Blog Minister” makes it clear that the BJP is running “tour travels and immigration” for “loot scoot and settle abroad” brigade.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said Mr. Mallya’s revelation puts the Modi government in the dock. This only reconfirms how the government enabled big defaulters to loot public money and scoot.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal too questioned that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministers need to explain their meetings with the economic fugitives. “PM Modi meets Nirav Modi before he flees the country. Finance Minister Vijay Mallya before he flees India. What transpired in these meetings? People want to know,” he said.
Not only Finance Minister, the entire BJP must come clean on its relations with Vijay Mallya, BJP rebel Yashwant Sinha said. Mr Mallya was elected to Rajya Sabh with support of BJP.