Hitting hard at the Modi Government, the Congress party on Tuesday, September 18, demanded a comprehensive probe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and top investigative agency Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the case of escape of businessman Vijay Mallya.
Dubbing the episode as ‘MallyaGate’, Congress communications chief Randeep Surjewala questioned Modi and Jaitley’s “conspiratorial silence” on the issue.
Addressing a presser at Congress headquarters in Delhi on Tuesday, Surjewala said that the role of the PM Modi should be probed for the his “complicity, collusion, collaboration and connivance” in Mallya escape.
“CBI falls under the Department of Personnel and Training which directly reports to the PM. Therefore, collaboration of the Modi government at the highest level stands exposed in this case. PM cannot absolve himself from his responsibility in Mallya escape-gate,” said Surjewala. “Who in the PMO nudged CBI to help Mallya escape?” he questioned.
Surjewala also demanded a probe into Jaitley along with senior officials of the Finance Ministry for their complicity in the case, alleging that Jaitley had met Mallya in Parliament on March 1, 2016 despite knowing that the CBI has registered a case against the businessman.
The Congress questioned role of the consortium of 17 public sectors banks, especially the management of the State Bank of India (SBI), alleging that senior lawyer Dushyant Dave had advised the consortium to file a petition against Mallya at the highest court of the country demanding seizure of Mallya’s passport, but the consortium allegedly did not pay heed
Demanding that the role of the then CBI director Anil Sinha, Joint Director AP Sharma and IPS officer Harshita Attaluri also be probed for their “complicity” in Mallya’s escape, Surjewala questioned, “why has the CBI changed its stance and why are Modi’s favourite officers from Gujarat AP Sharma and IPS officer Attaluri who downgraded the lookout notice are mum on the issue?”
The Congress spokesperson also questioned role of the consortium of 17 public sectors banks, especially the management of the State Bank of India (SBI), alleging that senior lawyer Dushyant Dave had advised the consortium to file a petition against Mallya at the highest court of the country demanding seizure of Mallya’s passport, but the consortium allegedly did not pay heed and as a result, Mallya fled the country, leaving public sector banks with outstanding dues of ₹9,000 crore.
“Why did the consortium of banks, which comes under Jaitley, not file a petition in the apex court within time? Has the FM himself or anybody else in his ministry delayed the filing of the petition so that Mallya can escape?” questioned Surjewala.
Surjewala told the media that the banks moved the Supreme Court five days later on March 5, 2016 but Mallya had fled by then.
“He fled from the country on March 2, 2016 after meeting Jaitley on March 2, 2016 but Jaitley neither told CBI, Police, ED or any other agency to apprehend Mallya. Why? All this needs a comprehensive probe,” emphasised Surjewala.