Vijay Mallya dropped a bombshell on Wednesday, September 12, when he said that he met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley right before leaving for London. Jaitley immediately issued a statement to deny his claims.
In a Facebook post, Jaitley wrote, "My attention has been drawn to a statement made to the media by Vijay Mallya on having met me with an offer of settlement. The statement is factually false in as much as it does not reflect truth (sic)."
He added, "Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise. However, since he was a Member of Rajya Sabha and he occasionally attended the House, he misused that privilege on one occasion while I was walking out of the House to go to my room."
As soon as Jaitley rubbished Mallya's claim, the fugitive liquor baron seemingly toned down his comment. He said that it wasn't a formal meeting – he had only met Jaitley in the Parliament.
But his so-called clarification didn't do anything to placate the Congress that attacked the finance minister all guns blazing. According to a report in News18, Rahul Gandhi called Mallya's claim "extremely serious allegations".
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.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 12, 2018
The Congress President went on to demand Jaitley's resignation. "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 (sic)," wrote Gandhi.
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to attack the BJP-led government saying, "PM Modi meets Neerav Modi before he flees the country. FM meets Vijay Mallya before he flees India. What transpired in these meetings? People want to know."
The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airline boss, who has been on bail on an extradition warrant since his arrest in April last year, is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore. Mallya's defence team has deposed a series of expert witnesses to claim he had no "fraudulent" intentions and that he is unlikely to get a fair trial in India.