After kicking up a media storm on Wednesday claiming he met finance minister before fleeing the country, liquor baron Vijay Mallya now says there was no formal meeting and that he just “happened” to see Jaitley in the Parliament.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley had slammed Mallya claims saying the story refers to fugitive businessman misusing access as an MP to accost him in a Parliament corridor and urging settlement for his outstanding loans.
In the corridor, Mallya who “paced up to” him was asked to make offer if any to the bankers, Jaitley had said.
Incidentally Mallya’s latest version tallies with Jaitley’s statement that he did not grant the tycoon any formal appointment since 2014.
In huge embarrassment to govt, Mallya on Wednesday morning said he met Jaitley and repeated his offer to settle loans, before leaving for London.
The “revelation” snowballed into controversy until Mallya later in the day backtracked saying “I happened to meet Jaitley in Parliament and I told him I I was leaving for London, that I want to settle with the banks and would he please facilitate these discussions.I did not have any formal meeting scheduled with him.”
Asked about Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s recent comments that he had been allowed to flee, Mallya said he was not tipped off by anyone.
On whether he met other BJP leaders, Mally said “Over a period of time I met many colleagues in Parliament and expressed of them my desire to settle with banks. i don’t believe I owe you any further details.”
Mallya’s controversial remark on meeting Jaitley before absconding came while he spoke to reporters outside Westminster magistrate court in London where his extradition trial was in progress.
62-year-old Mallya is has over Rs 9000 crore in unpaid loans and is presently on bail fighting an extradition trial. He left India on 2 Mar, 2016.