I met FM Arun Jaitley before I left India: Mallya

Fugitive business tycoon Vijay Mallya, wanted in India for his alleged role in a multi-crore bank loan fraud case, claimed on Wednesday that he met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving India in 2016.

“I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva. I met the Finance Minister before I left… repeated my offer to settle with the banks. That is the truth,” he told reporters outside a Westminster Magistrate court where he is fighting an extradition case filed by Indian authorities.

Mallya, who left India on March 2, 2016, also claimed that he was disliked by both the major parties in India — the BJP and Congress.

“I am a political football… As far as I am concerned, I have made a comprehensive settlement offer before the Karnataka High Court. I hope the honourable judges will consider it favourably.”

Asked if he could settle his dues, Mallya, who headed the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines and the United Breweries, said: “Obviously. That is why a settlement offer has been made.”

Mallya, who faces charges of defrauding banks to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, said he did not file any clemency plea in the Karnataka High Court where he was ready to settle all dues.

“I put almost Rs 15,000 crore offer on the table of the Karnataka High Court. I feel like a scapegoat. Both political parties don’t like me,” he said, adding that the banks had rejected his settlement offers.