Mumbai, March 14: Political leaders may seem to be at loggerhead over Vijay Mallya’s loan default case and his subsequently fleeing the country. The blamegame is on, but the fact is all of them are hand in glove when it comes to nominating businessmen for the Upper Houses of the Parliament, Rajya Sabha. Also Read - Rajasthan Congress Crisis Nears End as Sachin Pilot Breaks Silence, Party Forms 3-Member Panel to Address His ‘Grievances’
Mallya, who had reached crescendo with his flamboyance and money power, also had to depend on BJP and JDS to make it to the Rajya Sabha as an independent candidate. Of course, when Mallya was nominated, the parties hardly had any clue that his businesses were not doing well and the man was submerged in debt. Also Read - 'No Resentment Anymore': Rebel Rajasthan Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma Meets CM Ashok Gehlot
“We didn’t know he had this much of debt,” Former Karnataka chief minister and BJP veteran Jagadish Shettar was quoted as saying in connection with the industrialist’s Rs 9,000-crore loan default. Shettar literally agreed that it was a mistake on BJP’s part to send Mallya to the Rajya Sabha in 2010 for the second term. (Also Read: Vijay Mallya’s counsel move to Hyderabad High Court to quash non-bailable warrant) Also Read - Rajasthan Crisis: Sonia Gandhi Spoke to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Say Reports
The matter is interesting particularly for the fact that Mallya was supported by JDS and Congress for the first term in 2002. But Janta Dal Secular has been a supporter of Mallya for both the terms and no wonder why JDS leader and former Prime Minister of India, HD Deve Gowda came to his rescue unprovoked a couple of days ago.
“He’s a son of Karnataka soil, he is not running away from the country…These days every airlines are facing the losses, so no need to target a person who is a global business man,” Deve Gowda had said in favour of the business tycoon when the entire country was after Mallya for understandable reasons.
However, BJP has also clarified through media reports that the decision to support the liquor baron for the Rajya Sabha wasn’t theirs. “Initially, I too thought we had voted for him. But I just checked the records and found we didn’t support him. The party did not vote for Mallya in 2010. Only in 2002, six of our MLAs voted for Mallya. They were immediately suspended,” Shettar was quoted as saying in the media.
But, the picture still looks hazy as to what made an organised party like BJP to come clear with a disclaimer on voting in favour of Mallya.
Meanwhile, there were no such disclaimer from neither JDS nor Gowda in this regard. Gowda’s love for his Karnataka ‘brother’ may well prove to be disaster in the near future as it was on both the occasions, Mallya had the backing of Gowda and eventually his party JDS. Now, with Mallya’s term ending this June, Gowda will have to look for another businessmen to fill in the slot.