Amid demands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's resignation following fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya's sensational claim that he had met Union finance minister Arun Jaitley before leaving India, the under-fire BJP on Thursday hit back at the Congress, alleging that the UPA government had given a “sweet deal” to the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines to keep it afloat.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Sambit Patra was responding to Congress president Rahul Gandhi's demand for a probe into Mallya's claim that he had met Jaitley before leaving the country in 2016.
“Sometimes it seems the airline was not owned by Mallya, but by the Gandhi family in proxy,” Patra said, adding that Rahul Gandhi, who himself is out on bail (in the National Herald case), had no right to question others on corruption.
“The entire Gandhi family was in fact helping Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines with the sweet deal,” Patra said, while showing a bunch of documents related to the loans given by banks to the airline.
Patra alleged that Rahul was on the backfoot in the case of Kingfisher Airlines and its promoter Mallya as well as the entire Gandhi family travelled on the airline and their travel was upgraded to business class for free.
Patra also claimed that the BJP had evidence to prove that the top Congress leaders had links with the fugitive liquor baron mallya.
“There is a series of letters between the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) and the SBI (State Bank of India). These letters show us how the previous dispensation under Sonia Gandhi was biased, partial and kept all norms and regulations at bay to give a sweet deal to Kingfisher Airlines,” Patra alleged.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of colluding with a “criminal” and not informing the probe agencies, despite having information about the liquor baron’s plan to leave the country.
Congress leader PL Punia had also claimed that he had seen the liquor baron and Union finance minister Arun Jaitley having a discussion in the Central Hall of Parliament days before the former left India in 2016, and said that it could be verified verified with CCTV footage from that day, adding that he would resign if his claims were found to be untrue.
(With inputs from PTI)