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‘Who does one believe?’: Vijay Mallya’s latest tweet attack on PM Modi

Vijay Mallya, who is wanted in India for defaulting on crores of rupees in loans, cited a statement by the Prime Minister as he also took a dig at banks over contradictory statements made in British courts regarding the recovery of money he owes them.

india Updated: Apr 18, 2019 11:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mallya was referring to an interview Modi gave to Republic Bharat news channel on March 29, saying he was satisfied that the former Kingfisher Airlines boss’ extradition process was in the last stage and the government has recovered money from him.(Getty Images)

Vijay Mallya lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again on Thursday, a day after the fugitive liquor baron questioned the Centre for bailing out ailing Air India and not doing enough for private airlines.

Vijay Mallya, who is wanted in India for defaulting on crores of rupees in loans, cited a statement by the Prime Minister as he also took a dig at banks over contradictory statements made in British courts regarding the recovery of money he owes them.

“None other than the Prime Minister of India specifically says in an interview that his Government has recovered more money than I allegedly owe PSU Banks and the same Banks claim otherwise in English Courts. Who does one believe? One or the other is lying” he tweeted.

Mallya was referring to an interview Modi gave to Republic Bharat news channel on March 29, saying he was satisfied that the former Kingfisher Airlines boss’ extradition process was in the last stage and the government has recovered money from him.

“We brought in a law that enabled the Indian government to confiscate the property of fugitives in any part of the world. You must’ve seen in the case of Vijay Mallya,” the Prime Minister had said in the interview to the news channel’s editor Arnab Goswami.

“He owed banks Rs 9,000 crore but the government has confiscated his properties worth Rs 14,000 crore from across the world. Now, he is in trouble because we are taking double the amount,” he had said.

The latest tweet came after Mallya extended his “sympathies” to Naresh Goyal, the founder of crisis-hit Jet Airways, saying that being a PSU “is no excuse for discrimination”. In a series of tweets, he had also reiterated his offer to “pay 100 percent” back the money he owes to the banks.

Mallya, once known as the king of good times, is facing charges in India of financial irregularities amounting to over Rs 9,000 crore. He has been putting forth his version of events through social media in recent weeks, most recently on March 31. He has reiterated inside and outside the court that he is willing to repay the loans, wondering why authorities in India have not been taking up his offer to settle.

The businessman flew to the United Kingdom in March 2016 as a consortium of banks owed the money by his defunct Kingfisher Airlines closed in on him to recover the money. In India, he has been declared a fugitive economic offender.

Mallya has filed a renewal application in the appeals court of the high court in the United Kingdom and sought an oral hearing for permission to appeal against the February 4 order of the home secretary to extradite him to India.

A court in the UK had on April 8 denied permission to Mallya to appeal against his extradition order to India to face trial for alleged fraud and money laundering.

First Published: Apr 18, 2019 11:03 IST