Modi Mallya

Indian Youth Congress activists and supporters wear masks of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (L), businessman Vijay Mallya (C) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they protest against the Bharatiya Janata Party Sept. 14 in New Delhi for allegedly allowing Mallya to leave the country. (Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI — Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of maintaining a "conspiratorial silence" on Vijay Mallya, the Congress Sept. 14 asked why he was not ordering an "independent probe" into the fugitive businessman's meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Demanding Jaitley be fired, the party said that "despite startling revelations about a meeting between Mallya and Jaitley on March 1, 2016, both Modi and Jaitley have maintained a conspiratorial silence." 

"Is this silence an admission of guilt by Modi and Jaitley?" asked Congress Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

"Skeletons are tumbling out of the Modi government's cupboard, unravelling a sinister conspiracy and collusion of government agencies, including the CBI, ED, SFIO and banks in permitting Mallya to escape the clutches of law. 

"Jaitley and the consortium of banks led by the SBI and CBI/SFIO need to answer important issues," he added.

The Congress leader said that the consortium of banks had met Supreme Court senior advocate Dushyant Dave Feb. 28, 2016, for advice on the Mallya case. Dave has gone on record Sept. 13 that he advised the State Bank of India management to move the Supreme Court the next day and have Mallya's passport confiscated. The SBI management and other banks never returned the next day for action against Mallya or for blocking his escape, said Surjewala.

"Who in the Modi government told the SBI and other banks to not move the Supreme Court on Feb. 29, 2016, to block the escape of Mallya?" he asked.

"Why did the banks wait till March 5, 2016, to move the Supreme Court when Mallya had already escaped on March 2. Does it not prove a sinister conspiracy to help Mallya?

"Mukul Rohatgi, the then Attorney General and close friend of Jaitley, has also made a startling revelation that Mallya could have been possibly tipped off and, hence, ran away.

"After this statement, on what basis can any agency refuse to initiate investigation into the great government-assisted escape of Mallya?" the Congress leader added. 

He questioned who was directing the banks not to lodge a First Information Report against Mallya or provide the full facts of the loan defaults and diversion of funds to investigating agencies.

"If the prime minister does not act, it will be proved that the watchman is not only a partner, but is also guilty," Surjewala added.

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