In the wake of the controversy surrounding liquor baron Vijay Mallya claiming to have met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before fleeing to London, the Congress on Thursday accused Jaitley of striking a deal with Mallya and asked him to resign.
Addressing a press conference in the national capital, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that it is a "clear-cut case of collusion". "This is a clear-cut case of collusion. There is some deal between them. Finance Minister must resign and this should be investigated."
The Congress chief also alleged that the arrest notice issued for Mallya was changed to inform notice which can be done only by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). "The notice issued for Vijay Mallya was changed to the inform notice. No one can do this other than CBI. They should clarify if they did this on their own or were orders given to CBI?" said Rahul.
Rahul said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi decides everything in the government and asked if it was Jaitley who had agreed to let fugitive Mallya run away from the country or if the order had come from the prime minister.
He also accused Jaitley of not notifying the CBI or ED even after Mallya informed the finance minister about "fleeing the country".
Rahul claimed that at first Jaitley had said that he never met Mallya, but Mallya did meet him in the corridor and informed that he was going to London. "Jaitley is lying, the Govt is lying. He (Mallya) was given a free passage out of the country by the Finance Minister," said Rahul.
"Yesterday, Arun Jaitley said that Vijay Mallya had formally approached him in Parliament. He writes lengthy blogs but why did he not mention any of this before?" said the Congress president.
Congress leader PL Punia said he witness Mallya meeting Jaitley in Parliament during 2016 Budget session. He added the meeting appeared to be of formal nature and lasted 15-20 minutes. "On March 1, 2016, when I was in Central Hall of Parliament House, I witnessed Arun Jaitley and Vijay Mallya talking discretely. On March 3, we heard from the media that he fled the country on March 2, 2016. I have clearly stated about this in each of my interview with media. There are CCTV cameras, we can all see that for proof. If I'm wrong I'll resign from politics," said Punia.