New Delhi: Liquor baron and former Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Mallya may have thought he was doing nothing more than raising a cheer for the festive season when he presented a bottle of whisky to all MPs. But there are some who differ and have returned his gift with a moralistic sniff.
Mallya is learnt to have sent across a bottle of “Black Dog” whisky along with a greeting card for Diwali to the residences of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha MPs and while most may have quietly raised a toast to him, BJP’s Prabhat Jha has shot off a letter to the businessman.
In his letter to Mallya, Jha has said that the “diwali gift which you have sent me, has no connection with my lifestyle, even though it may have been sent with the best of wishes for Diwali. The Bharatiya samaj (Indian society) does not accept it.”
The MP condeded that “though many people in the country may be drinking it (liquor)” and extended the hope that “you become one of the biggest businessman in the world”, Jha primly noted, “But you should have most certainly kept the dignity of Parliament, parliamentarians and the Constitution in mind.” Jha pointed out that Mallya had been a member of Rajya Sabha.
Further in his letter, Jha has said, “I am even more surprised since you have sent such a gift without even knowing me.” That Indian parliamentarians cannot be sent such gifts, since it amounts to ridiculing them, as it would mean the bottle was being sent to someone who is “fit to drink it”, Jha has reminded Mallya.
The MP added that the Delhi government had talked of imposing a stiff fine of Rs 5,000 for drinking in public and wondered what was the right “punishment” for Mallya. Jha said that he is returning the bottle to Mallya, since he doesn’t want to be questioned in his home. “At my home there is still some culture left and booze can only create problems for the nation and not solve any problems,” is Jha’s final homily.