NEW DELHI: Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher Airlines was actually “owned by Gandhi family”, alleged Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra on Thursday.
“Rahul Gandhi has gone on back-foot over Kingfisher Airlines. Sometimes it seems the airlines wasn't owned by Mallya but by Gandhi family in proxy,” said Patra at a media briefing event in the national capital.
“Benefits that Gandhi family got out of Kingfisher Airlines via business class upgradation, free tickets etc is in public domain,” he added.
Presenting a purported confessional statement, Patra alleged that “one crore loan was taken by Rahul Gandhi’s firm by a Kolkata-based shell company.”
Patra named a shell firm Totex India Limited, owned by someone called Uday Shankar.
“How much black money has been converted into white money,” questioned Patra.
Patra's comments came a day after fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya claimed that he met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving the country, propelling the Opposition to demand a probe into the event.
Earlier in the Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned the timing of Mallya's comment, which comes days after Rahul's visit to London. "It (Mallya's statement) comes after Rahul Gandhi's visit to London. Are Mallya and Rahul Gandhi working in tandem," Prasad asked.
He also said that the Congress is making an issue out of nothing. "Deliberate accosting by Mallya in corridors of Parliament and Jaitley rebuffing him to talk to banks for repayment of loans in just half sentence is sought to be made an issue by Congress," Prasad said.