Once upon a time there was a king, who lived a lavish life. He lived a luxurious lifestyle – owned India’s biggest liquor company, a private jet, an Airbus and many other riches – the ordinary could only dream of. His name is Vijjay Mallya.
The country is looking for him — but for different reasons. Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines owed Rs 7,800 crore to a consortium of 17 lenders led by State Bank.
The liquor baron has been declared a wilful defaulter and has a huge debt of Rs 9,091 crore to the banks. Mallya reportedly left India on March 2, even as the banks had sought his passport be seized.
Over the Vijay Mallya episode, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy has said that the liquor baron received all bank loans when the UPA regime was in power at the Centre.
“On the Vijay Mallya issue, the Congress is on a back foot because they have to do a lot of answering as to how Vijay Mallya in the last decade got so much of bank loan and how was it that it was all happening under the nose of the UPA government,” Rudy told ANI.
“The government is doing its job, but the Congress has to answer that during whose tenure this whole revival package was passed knowing that the condition of bank accounts of Mr. Mallya are not in shape,” he added. The Congress has been attempting to corner the Centre over Mallya saying that the government was framing innocent people while offenders such as the former Kingfisher boss were allowed to leave the country.
The Congress earlier asserted that the liquor baron was ‘made to abscond’ since a lot of ‘powerful’ people would be in trouble if he opened his mouth. The opposition wanted to know why the 60-year-old was not arrested before he left the country on March 2.
Mallya, who is thought to be in Britain, tweeted that he would comply with the law and criticised the media for what he called a “witch hunt”.
“I am an international businessman. I travel to and from India frequently. I did not flee from India and neither am I an absconder. Rubbish,” Mallya posted on Twitter.
Mallya, who has not been charged with any crime, stepped down last month as chairman of United Spirits, the Indian arm of Britain’s Diageo, following allegations of financial lapses.