Rahul alleged that the CBI changed the “detain” notice against Mallya to “inform”. Rahul added that the change in lookout notice in Mallya case could not have been done without the “approval of the PM”.
Mallya’s Great Escape was aided by the CBI quietly changing the “Detain” notice for him, to “Inform”. The CBI reports directly to the PM. It is inconceivable that the CBI, in such a high profile, controversial case, would change a lookout notice without the approval of the PM.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 14, 2018
The Congress has been gunning for Arun Jaitley’s resignation and accused him of shielding information from investigating agencies of having met Mallya before the latter fled the country.
“The Finance Minister is lying. If an absconder told Mr Jaitley he is going to London, why did the FM not disclose this to the investigating agencies?” Gandhi said during a press conference at the party headquarters in Delhi.
Coming out after the extradition hearing at a London court on Wednesday, Mallya claimed he had met Jaitley before leaving the country. Jaitley, however, has denied his claims.
Taking the attack to the opposition, union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged that Vijay Mallya’s statement about meeting Jaitley came after Rahul’s Gandhi’s visit to London.
In a series of press briefings on Thursday, the Congress chief said party MP PL Punia saw Jaitley sitting with Mallya in the Central Hall of Parliament on March 1, 2016 and held an elaborate 15-20 minute meeting with him.
Citing Punia’s statement, Rahul asked why “the FM did not disclose his meeting with Mallya”. He challenged Jaitley to get CCTV footage of the day.
In a counter-attack on the same day, the BJP alleged that the previous UPA government had given a “sweet deal” to the beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines to keep it afloat and suggested that the airline was perhaps owned by the Gandhi family.
Seeking to shift the blame, the BJP leaders, including top Union ministers, alleged many Congress leaders had tried to save Mallya and his sinking business empire.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Congress was raking up the issue to deflect attention from the UPA government’s “cronyism and favouritism” and the demand for Jaitley’s resignation over a “brief conversation” with Mallya was motivated.