Vijay Mallya and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had a “15-minute sit-down meeting in parliament” just two days before the fugitive tycoon’s flight to the UK, and a Congress leader was witness to it, Rahul Gandhi alleged today. “Arun Jaitley is lying, Congress leader PL Puniya witnessed his meeting with Vijay Mallya,” the Congress president said, a day after the finance minister rubbished Vijay Mallya’s claim that he had met him before leaving for London in 2016.
“The finance minister has to explain to the country why he has colluded with the criminal and why was he having a meeting with a criminal, what was discussed,” the Congress president charged. Sources close to Mr Jaitley told NDTV that the minister wasn’t in parliament “90 per cent of that day”. “Those who are accusing don’t have their facts right,” they said.
PL Puniya said he had seen Mr Mallya and the finance minister speak in the Central Hall of parliament in March 2016, days before the liquor baron left India and flew to the UK amid attempts to recover over Rs. 9,000 crore in unpaid loans from him.