Rahul should resign over his family’s links with Mallya: BJP

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 14 Sep 2018 08:25:51



BJP claims that the UPA Government had helped the ailing Kingfisher Airlines

“The airline was not owned by Mallya, but by the Gandhi family in proxy,” said Sambit Patra

THE Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sought on Thursday the resignation of Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi over his family’s alleged links with fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya and claimed the UPA Government had helped the ailing Kingfisher Airlines. With Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi accusing Arun Jaitley of helping Mallya flee the country, the ruling party hit back and Union Minister Piyush Goyal sought Gandhi’s resignation from all posts for his family’s alleged links with Mallya.

Charges and counter-charges flew thick and fast between the two arch political rivals following Mallya’s sensational claim in London on Wednesday that he had met Jaitley and told him that he was leaving for London.

Apart from fielding party leaders to take on the Congress, the BJP also used a video clip of Civil Aviation Minister in the UPA Government Vayalar Ravi as saying that Government needs to help Kingfisher. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra cited loans given to Mallya’s firm during the UPA rule to allege that it had given a “sweet deal” to the beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines to keep it afloat and suggested that the airline was perhaps owned by the Gandhi family.

“Sometimes it seems the airline was not owned by Mallya, but by the Gandhi family in proxy,” Patra said, adding that Rahul Gandhi, who himself is out on bail (in the National Herald case), had no right to question others on corruption.
A fresh salvo at Gandhi was fired later at a separate press conference by Goyal who demanded his resignation, saying the Congress chief should answer what were the relations between his family and Mallya.

“All norms, laws and regulations were passed to help the Kingfisher Airlines and specific instructions were given by the Congress-led UPA government to banks for restructuring of loans for the company,” Goyal said.
Goyal also discredited Mallya’s claim, saying he was a criminal who has no credibility. Both Gandhi and Mallya are “playing duet of lies”, he added.

The Railway Minister also spoke of the Modi Government’s efforts in going after bank defaulters and highlighted the passage of the Fugitive Offenders Bill by it.
Joining BJP’s counter-offensive, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asked whether Gandhi and Mallya were “working in tandem” and claimed the liquor baron had allegedly benefitted from bank facilities during the UPA Government.
Patra, showing a purported confessional statement of a hawala trader, alleged that the Congress chief had links with a shell company.

He claimed the entire Gandhi family travelled on Kingfisher Airline and their travel was upgraded to business class for free. “The entire Gandhi family was in fact helping Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines with the sweet deal,” Patra said, while showing a bunch of documents which he said were related to loans given by banks to the airline. Minutes after Mallya’s revelation, Jaitley had on Wednesday strongly refuted his claim, saying he never gave him any appointment but the businessman misused his privilege as an MP to accost him in Parliament.

After Jaitley’s sharp rebuttal, Mallya also toned down the seriousness of his comments, saying it was “not fair” to create a controversy over this issue as it was not a “formal meeting” and he only “happened to meet” the finance minister.