Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday wasted no time and moved in with lightning speed to issue a detailed clarification in response to the bombshell dropped by industrialist Vijay Mallya.
Mallya had earlier told reporters in London that Jaitley was aware that he was leaving India adding that he had even met the finance minister.
Jaitley wrote on Facebook, “My attention has been drawn to a statement made to the media by Vijay Mallaya on having met me with an offer of settlement.
The statement is factually false in as much as it does not reflect truth. Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise.”
Jaitley added, “However, since he was a Member of Rajya Sabha and he occasionally attended the House, he misused that privilege on one occasion while I was walking out of the House to go to my room. He paced up to catch up with me and while walking uttered a sentence that ”I am making an offer of settlement”. Having been fully briefed about his earlier “bluff offers”, without allowing him to proceed with the conversation, I curtly told him “there was no point talking to me and he must make offers to his bankers.”
“I did not even receive the papers that he was holding in his hand. Besides this one sentence exchange where he misused his privilege as a Rajya Sabha Member, in order to further his commercial interest as a bank debtor, there is no question of my having ever given him an appointment to meet me.”
Reacting to Mallya’s extraordinary revelations on meeting Jaitley before fleeing India, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had asked the finance minister to clarify his stand. He wrote, “Why did the Finance Minister hide this information till now?” His subsequent tweet read, “Absolutely shocking.”
Kejriwal’s other tweet read, “PM Modi meets Neerav Modi before he flees the country. FM meets Vijay Mallya before he flees India. What transpired in these meetings? People want to know.”