Mallya Issue: BJP Slams Cong Citing Quattrocchi Episode


New Delhi: Rubbishing the accusations made by the Congress of helping liquor baron Vijay Mallya to escape, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday alleged that the grand old party was making such claims because of their past experience with Bofors accused Ottavio Quattrocchi.

“They are able to comment on Vijay Mallya because of their past experience with Quattrochi. The Congress regime at that time had not only helped him to flee, but they also ended the red-corner notice and the account which was seized by the then government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji,” BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told media.

“We have already said that whatever loot has been made by Mallya, the account of that would be put forward before the country. And we will not allow Mallya to feel a sigh of relief wherever he might be staying in the world,” he added.

Amid the brewing storm over Mallya’s absence from India as he faces charges of money laundering, the Congress Party earlier asserted that the liquor baron was ‘made to abscond’ since a lot of ‘powerful’ people would be in trouble if he opened his mouth.

Speaking to media, Congress leader Manish Tewari said that it was not as if Mallya had escaped or absconded but he was ‘allowed’ to leave the country.

“The reason why Mallya was allowed to abscond is because if he is investigated or if he decides to open his mouth, a lot of very powerful people in this county will be without their clothes,” he added.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had earlier accused the government of ‘helping’ Mallya leave the country which was rejected by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who reminded the Opposition that it was in power when Bofors accused Ottvio Quattrocchi left India.

“Rahul ji should remember that there is a basic difference in Mallya leaving (the country) and Quattrochi going out (of India). And let me explain him the difference. When officials of Switzerland informed that Quattrochi was also among the beneficiaries of Bofors and though the person who was heading the CBI investigation earlier, K Madhavan, wrote a letter that his passport should be impounded, the then government had not stopped him and within two days he left India. That was a criminal case,” Jaitley had earlier said in the Rajya Sabha.

The government had earlier told the Supreme Court that Mallya had left India on March 2 following which the bench issued notice to him and sought his response within two weeks on pleas filed by a consortium of banks seeking direction for freezing his passport and his presence before the apex court.