Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya on Tuesday criticised the National Democratic Alliance government for “double standards” and attacked public sector banks for allowing his Kingfisher Airlines to fail.
Mallya’s comments come a day after Jet Airways announced that it would receive Rs 1,500 crore from its lenders. The State Bank of India is the private airline’s biggest lender, and is leading the efforts to evolve a comprehensive plan to revive the airline.
In a series of tweets, Mallya said he was happy that public sector banks had bailed out Jet Airways, thus saving jobs, connectivity and enterprise. “Only wish the same was done for Kingfisher,” he said. Mallya is currently in the United Kingdom facing extradition to India.
Mallya said he invested over Rs 4,000 crore into Kingfisher Airlines to save the company and its employees. “Not recognised and instead slammed in every possible way,” he claimed. “The same PSU Banks let India’s finest airline with the best employees and connectivity fail ruthlessly. Double standards under NDA.”
Mallya also attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party for criticising the United Progressive Alliance government under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for its efforts to save Kingfisher Airlines.
“BJP spokesman eloquently read out my letters to PM Manmohan Singh and alleged that PSU Banks under the UPA Government had wrongly supported Kingfisher Airlines,” he tweeted. “Media decimated me for writing to the current PM. I wonder what has changed now under the NDA Government.”
In June 2018, Mallya claimed he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in 2016 but had not received a reply.
Mallya reiterated that he had placed liquid assets before the Karnataka High Court to pay off the public sector banks and other creditors. “Why do the Banks not take my money,” he asked. “It will help them to save Jet Airways if nothing else.”
Mallya is fighting a number of lawsuits in UK and India related to fraud and money laundering allegations. He fled India and moved to London in March 2016, claiming was in “forced exile” after owing over Rs 9,000 crore to a consortium of Indian banks. However, a court there ordered his extradition to India in December 2018. The UK signed an order to extradite him on February 4.
Last month, he filed an application in the United Kingdom High Court seeking permission to appeal against an extradition order signed by the government’s Home Secretary.