Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], June 26 (ANI): Reacting to fugitive Vijay Mallya’s letter, claiming that he wanted to pay back the bank loans, Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar on Tuesday said he could have done so in the years that have gone by.Also Read - Karnataka Mulls Booster Shots For Frontline Workers Amid Cluster Outbreaks, Omicron Threat

“If Vijay Mallya wanted to pay the banks he had many many years to do so,” Akbar told ANI. Also Read - Bengaluru Auto Rides Get Costlier From Today. Here Are The New Rates

Earlier today, Mallya broke his silence over the controversy surrounding him of defaulting on bank loans to the tune of Rs 9000 crores, and claimed that he had been falsely framed as the “poster boy of Bank default and a lightning rod of public anger”. Also Read - 'No Lockdown, But...', Karnataka CM Bommai Issues BIG Statement Amid Omicron Scare

He also claimed in his letter that even though he wanted to settle the bank loans, his offer was rejected twice.

He said, “I made two settlement offers to the Banks when proceedings were filed by them in the Honourable Supreme Court of India on 29th March 2016 and 6th April 2016. Both offers were rejected by the Banks – the second revised offer was rejected outright by a junior SBI officer present in Court without reference to any of the other Banks.”

He also claimed to have written letters to the Chairperson of SBI on May 10, 2016, June 2, 2016, and June 10, 2016, seeking settlement discussions.

“I respectfully submit that my conduct does not amount to “wilful default,” Mallya said. (ANI)

This is published unedited from the ANI feed.