Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who owes over Rs 9,000 crore to banks in India and is currently facing an extradition trial in the United Kingdom, said on Sunday that it suits the Bharatiya Janata Party to say that he fled the country.
“Saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interview in which he takes my name and says that even though I owe Rs 9,000 crore to banks, his government has attached my assets worth Rs 14,000 crore,” Mallya said in a tweet, referring to Modi’s interview with Republic TV last week. “So the highest authority has confirmed full recovery. Why do BJP spokesmen continue their rhetoric?”
The fugitive businessman claimed that his assertion of being a poster boy for the BJP is fully vindicated by Modi’s statement that the government has recovered more than what he owes to the banks. “Fact that I have been a UK resident since 1992 ignored,” Mallya added. “Suits the BJP to say I ran away.”
“We brought in a law that enabled the Indian government to confiscate the property of fugitives in any part of the world,” Modi had said during the interview. “You must’ve seen in the case of Vijay Mallya. He owed banks Rs 9,000 crore but the government has confiscated his properties worth Rs 14,000 crore from across the world. Now, he is in trouble because we are taking double the amount.”
Mallya is fighting a number of lawsuits in the United Kingdom and India related to fraud and money laundering allegations. He fled India and moved to London in March 2016, claiming he was in “forced exile” as he owed 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.