New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday launched a scathing attack on former prime minister Manmohan Singh, saying he was instrumental in awarding loans to Vijay Mallya’s ‘sinking’ Kingfisher Airlines even when it had defaulted on loans previously allotted to the company by banks.
Quoting a letter, party’s spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged that the former prime minister Manmohan Singh met Mallya and put him in touch with a top bureaucrat to facilitate granting of loans to airlines.
“The first loan to Vijay Mallya was granted in 2004, then in 2008. Despite Kingfisher was declared NPA, restructuring of his loan was done in 2010,” said Patra in a press conference.
“Was the sinking ship (Congress) helping out the sinking Airlines?” he alleged.
Sambit Patra alleged that Manmohan Singh had put the airlines authority in touch with his advisor TKA Nair for the loans.
Vijay Mallya was declared a “proclaimed offender” by a court last year on a request by the Enforcement Directorate. The ED was probing money laundering charges against him in an alleged Rs 900 crore loan default case. Later he was declared an absconder in the case when he failed to show up for hearings.
Recently, Mallya said Twitter that he begged for help not in terms of loans but policy change.
“It sadly failed purely due to economic and policy situations. I am humble enough to say sorry to employees and all stakeholders everyday. I really wish government helped,” he wrote on twitter.
“KFA collapsed with oil at $140/barrel and state sales tax on top of rupee devaluation. No FDI (Foreign Direct Investment). Engine failures. Economic depression. Need more?” recalled Mallya.
“I was not allowed to even downsize KFA due employment and connectivity. If my lifestyle was lavish it was for two decades before KFA was even born. My core alcohol businesses were severely controlled by the government,” added Mallya.
Mallya was also critical of reports against him played by the television media.
“TV anchors in India have become vociferous Public Prosecutors influencing public opinion. I only hope that our esteemed judiciary rise above,” he wrote.
- Mallya owes Rs 9,000 crore to 17 banks
- He faces investigation by Income Tax Department, the CBI for charges like financial fraud and money laundering.
- He left India in March 2016 and was declared as absconding by a court.
- In April 2016, Vijay Mallya’s passport was revoked by the ministry of external affairs.
- A day before the Ethics Committee of the Rajya Sabha was prepared to recommend his expulsion, Mallya resigned from the house.