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Don't dismiss my offer as frivolous, tell banks to accept money: Vijay Mallya on PM Modi's remarks

Business Today logo Business Today 14-02-2019 BusinessToday.In
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(Video provided by The Times of India)

Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya has hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his apparent reference to him in the PM's last speech in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Mallya asked why the PM was not instructing banks to recover the money they lent to the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines as he had put his assets before the Karnataka High Court. Claiming the onus was now on the Indian government, the businessman said such offers couldn't be dismissed as "frivolous". He said he was appalled over the recent media reports on the ED claims that he was hiding his wealth. Mallya said it was not possible as he had put around Rs 14,000 crore worth assets "in front of the court".

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The Prime Ministers last speech in Parliament was brought to my attention. He certainly is a very eloquent speaker. I noticed that he referred to an unnamed person who "ran away" with 9000 crores. Given the media narrative I can only infer that reference is to me.

Following on from my earlier tweet, I respectfully ask why the Prime Minister is not instructing his Banks to take the money I have put on the table so he can at least claim credit for full recovery of public funds lent to Kingfisher.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his last Parliament speech on Wednesday had referred to an unnamed person (apparently Vijay Mallya) who "ran away" with Rs 9,000 crore. "The ones who have run away..is crying that I (Vijay Mallya) ran away with Rs 9000 crores, but Modi has taken back Rs 13,000 crore. After waking up in the morning, they realise that their assets have been confiscated. Next morning, they realise in some other country, other assets have been confiscated. This is the law which we made," said PM Modi. Slamming the Congress party, PM Modi said the Congress let the corrupt steal money but the BJP government is trying to bring it back.

In Pics: The rise and fall of Vijay Mallya

The PM was apparently referring to Vijay Mallya's February 1 tweet that said every other day his properties were being attached, even though the recovery had already exceeded Rs 13,000 crore, which he said were way above what banks claimed he owed to them. "Every morning I wake up to yet another attachment by the DRT recovery officer. Value already crossed 13,000 crores. Banks claim dues including all interest of 9,000 crores which is subject to review. How far will this go and well beyond? Justified?" he tweeted.

Last year, Vijay Mallya had offered to pay back the loan he owed to Indian banks in full as a UK court was hearing a matter over his extradition. But, the ED had recently said that the fugitive businessman decided to hold back substantial funds he had at his disposable even as his Kingfisher Airlines suffered due to debt in its name.

In a massive success for Indian investigating agencies, the UK Home Secretary this month cleared the decks for the extradition of the embattled liquor baron. He will face trial for charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to an estimated Rs 9,000 crore. The matter of Mallya's extradition was pending with the Secretary of State who had to decide whether to agree or disagree with the verdict.

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