Mallya row: Chidambaram corners Vajpayee, puts onus on banks

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Mumbai, Mar.15 (ANI): In an indirect attack on former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former finance minister P. Chidambaram came to rescue of the Congress Party over the Vijay Mallya episode and said it is the responsibility of the banks to recover the money as they had lent loans of Rs. 9000 crore to the liquor baron.

“I don’t know the facts of Mallya’s case. It’s for the banks, which had given money to take appropriate action,” he said yesterday while launching his book Standing Guard – A Year in Opposition.

“In 2002-03, when Shekhar Gupta was the editor of the Indian Express, he ran a series of articles called ‘The Great Indian Bank Robbery’. Just jog the memory and ask the question as to who was the prime minister at that time. Nobody accuses that prime minister of being behind the logs. Therefore, if the banks have lent loan to a person, they are responsible to that,” Chidambaram said.

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned the liquor baron to appear before it in Mumbai on March 18 as part of its money laundering probe in the alleged default in payment of Rs 900 crore dues to the IDBI bank by the Kingfisher Airlines.

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. (ANI)

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