Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and then Finance Minister P Chidambaram helped beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya to get huge loans to bail out Kingfisher Airlines, claimed the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday.
The party quoted from purported letters written by businessman Mallya to Singh in which he sought his intervention and subsequent to which his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines received loans.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra asked Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi to explain at whose behest the defaulting company got loans.
“The first loan to Vijay Mallya was granted in 2004, then again in 2008. Despite his companies declared Non-Performing Assets (NPAs), a restructuring of his loan was done in 2010,” the BJP’s Sambit Patra said in a press conference where he also flashed a few papers which he claimed were the correspondence between Mallya and the then UPA government.
“The Finance Minister forced the State Bank of India group, which was not willing to give a no-objection certificate for the issue of fresh share to raise funds, to not only issue the NoC, but a direction was given to the bank officials to meet UBL officials,” he said.
“It was after one such letter Mallya had written to Singh on November 14, 2011 that the Prime Minister told the media that ‘we have to find ways to get Kingfisher out of trouble’,” Patra said.
In another letter, he sought Singh’s intervention to get funds from banks released immediately, the BJP leader claimed. In one of the letters, Mallya said he was very “relieved” and “pleased”, apparently referring to developments in the interim, according to Patra.
A top PMO official had spoken to ministries concerned following his letter to Singh and Mallya had mentioned it, he said.
Patra cited another letter the absconding liquor baron allegedly wrote to Chidambaram in March 2013, seeking his intervention to get NOC from the SBI, which headed the consortium of banks which had given unrecovered loans to the airline, and its subsidiaries as his liquor company was in talks with Diageo for a deal.