Mallya's allegations 'serious', Jaitley should step down: Rahul Gandhi

Met finance minister before leaving the country Vijay Mallya

New Delhi: Finance minister Arun Jaitley has confirmed that he met Vijay Mallya before the tycoon fled the country but added that it was a forced encounter in the corridors of Parliament and not a structured meeting. Before leaving I met the finance minister and offered to settle (the issue with the banks), Mallya said, without naming the minister.

"My attention has been drawn to a statement made to the media by Vijay Mallaya on having met me with an offer of settlement".

Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, a former union finance minister who has been critical of Jaitley and his handling of the ministry, said the entire BJP leadership, not just the finance minister, must come clean on its ties with Mallya.

"Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise", Finance Minister Jaitley said in a Facebook post.

Mallya, while heading inside the court in connection with his extradition case, said that he is ready for a comprehensive settlement.

"While I was walking out of the House, he paced up to catch up with me and while walking, uttered, "I am making an offer of settlement". I even did not receive any paper from him at that time. I met the finance minister before I left.

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"Before leaving, I met the finance minister and offered to settle the issue with the banks", said the 62-year-old, who is facing money laundering charges in an alleged multi-crore fraud. "I hope the honourable judges will consider it favourably; everybody gets paid off and I guess that's the primary objective", said Mallya, who is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crores. Mallya's defence team had demanded an inspection of the jail cell to ensure it meets the UK's human rights obligations related to extradition proceedings.

"I have said before that I am a political football. We need proper disclosures, full inquiries on this", he said. The London court was hearing the closing arguments in the extradition case against Mallya on Wednesday, as well as review the video of jail cell prepared for him by the Indian authorities.

"I have no comment, you are hearing everything in court", he added on further questions by the reporters. "Given Vijay Mallya's extremely serious allegations in London today", said Gandhi on Twitter, "the PM should immediately order an independent probe into the matter".

According to Mallya, he and the United Breweries Group (UBHL) have filed an application in the Karnataka High Court on June 22, 2018, setting out available assets of approximately Rs 13,900 crores.

While Vijay Mallya's statement about his meeting with Arun Jaitley put a start to huge political storm, Congress and other opposition parties are showing it a proof of corrupted Businessman fleeing the country with the conspiracy of the Government itself. What transpired in these meetings?

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