New Delhi: Congress on Wednesday said that fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya's claimed meeting with the Finance Minister could not have been a "passing, casual, walking meeting" in Parliament. The party also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of allowing Mallya, diamantaire Mehul Choksi and nephew Nirav Modi with "impunity".
Senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said, "Phrase used by Mallya today is that 'he met FM'. But 'met the FM' does not suggest a passing, casual, walking meeting inside the House of Rajya Sabha. I think more categorical and detailed response must be had. Question remains how could he have left after everyone knew of debts and NPAs?"
Singhvi's comments were in reaction to Mallya's statement, claiming, "I met the Finance Minister before I left." Mallya did not take the name of the Finance Minister. However, Mallya left India in March 2016 when Arun Jaitley was holding the post of Union Finance Minister.
"Congress has been repeatedly asserting for last over 18 months that not only Vijay Mallya but Nirav Modi, Choksi and many others have been allowed (to leave) with impunity," Singhvi further said.
Congress national spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also took a jibe at the Finance Minister following Mallya's statement. He tweeted, "After Mallya reveals his 'consultation meetings' before his smooth escape, with Fiscal Mismanagement Blog Minister Sh Jaitley - one thing is clear - BJP is running "tour travels and immigration" agency for "loot scoot & settle abroad" brigade."
When Mallya was asked by a reporter if somebody had tipped him off, he said: "I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva. I met the Finance Minister before I left, repeated my offer to settle with the banks."