New Delhi: The Congress on Friday accused Prime Minister Modi of maintaining "conspiratorial silence on fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya, demanding to know who the "chief architect and protector of his escape" was.
Party spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala demanded an independent probe into the episode and asked: "Who is the chief architect, protector and benefactor in Vijay Mallya's escape?"
The party also asked who influenced a consortium of banks not to move Supreme Court to block his escape.
Surjewala reiterated his party's demand for sacking Jaitley. "Despite startling revelations about a meeting between Mallya and Jaitley on March 1, 2016, both Modi and Jaitley have maintained "conspiratorial silence."
The Congress leader said a consortium of banks had met Supreme Court senior advocate Dushyant Dave on February 28, 2016, for advice on the Mallya case. "Dave has gone on record that he advised the SBI management to move the Supreme Court the next day and get Mallya's passport confiscated. The SBI management and other banks never returned the next day for action against Mallya or for blocking his escape," said Surjewala.
"Who in the Modi government told the SBI and other banks to not move the Supreme Court?" he asked.
"Why did the banks wait till March 5 that year to move the Supreme Court when Mallya had already escaped on March 2. Does it not prove a sinister conspiracy to help Mallya," he sought to know.
"Mukul Rohatgi, the then Attorney General and a close Jaitley friend, has also made a startling revelation that Mallya could have been possibly tipped off," he said.
"After this statement, on what basis can any agency refuse to initiate investigation into the great government-assisted escape of Mallya?" the Congress leader added.
He questioned who was directing the banks not to lodge an FIR against Mallya or not provide the full facts of loan defaults and diversion of funds to investigating agencies.
"If the Prime Minister does not act, it will be proved that the watchman is not only a partner but also guilty," Surjewala added.
Meanwhile, the Delhi unit of Youth Congress on Friday staged a demonstration against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley outside his residence and demanded his resignation.