Arun Jaitley lying on meeting with Vijay Mallya, says Rahul Gandhi

Arun Jaitley was the Finance Minister in 2016 when Mallya left India

Arun Jaitley was the Finance Minister in 2016 when Mallya left India

"He has to explain why when a criminal has told him he is running away to London, he has done nothing", Gandhi said, addressing a press conference at the party headquarters.

He claimed that Rahul Gandhi was on the backfoot in the case of Kingfisher Airlines and its promoter Vijay Mallya as well as the entire Gandhi family travelled on the airline and their travel was upgraded to business class for free.

Asked if he could settle his dues, Mallya, who headed the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines and the United Breweries, said: "Obviously".

"There is a series of letters between the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) and the SBI (State Bank of India). Gandhis were willing to let the economy tank but wanted to keep Kingfisher Airlines afloat".

Ahead of his extradition hearing before the London's Westminster Magistrate Court, Vijay Mallya on Wednesday claimed that he met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving the country. The Congress says so, and Rahul Gandhi has decried "a clear-cut case of collusion". Demanding Arun Jaitley's resignation as Finance Minister over Mallya's claims, the Congress president asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order an independent probe into the matter.

The clarification came hours after Jaitley said that he had not granted any formal appointment to Mallya. Before leaving I met the finance minister and offered to settle (the issue with the banks), Mallya said, without naming the minister.

He later said he never met Arun Jaitley formally.

Singhvi said the moot question remains why was no action taken before Mallya fled the country. In his response, while Jaitley did not deny meeting Mallya or the latter's offer of settling the bank loans, the finance minister accused the billionaire businessman of abusing the House privileges. This provided the opposition some fodder to target Jaitley and the Congress said that the revelations were an embarrassment to the government. He said India wants to know what transpired during the meeting between Mallya and Jaitley. "I did not even receive the papers that he was holding in his hand".

Since his arrest in April past year, Vijay Mallya, has been on bail on an extradition warrant.

Reportedly, the video submitted by the Indian authorities shows Barrack 12 of Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai where Vijay Mallya will be housed if he is extradited.

Earlier, talking to reporters Mallya said the media should question the banks why they are not supporting him in his efforts to repay. "Do we need anymore proof that this in the pocket of crony capitalists". "Chowkidaar nahin, Bhagidaar hai (Not a watchman, but a partner)", he tweeted in Hindi.

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