Liquor baron Vijay Mallya today released his letter written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said he was “making every effort” to settle his dues to banks but he had been made the “Poster Boy” of bank default and a lightning rod for public anger.
Mallya said he had written letters to both the PM and the finance minister on April 15, 2016, to explain his side of the story in connection with the loan default case and to “put things in right perspective.” No response was received from either of them,” he said in a statement.
He further said, “I have been accused by politicians and the media alike of having stolen and run away with Rs 9,000 crore that was loaned to Kingfisher Airlines (KFA). Some of the lending banks have also labelled me a wilful defaulter“.
Mallya, who is currently fighting against extradition to India from the UK, also said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) have filed charge sheets against him “with various untenable and blatantly false allegations acting at the behest of the Government and lending Banks”.
The 62-year-old is wanted in India for defaulting on loans worth almost Rs. 9,000 crores and also in a money-laundering case. He took a flight out of India just when a group of banks launched efforts to recover around the default amount from him. He was arrested in the UK last year on an extradition warrant.
Earlier last year the liquor baron had offered a negotiated one-time settlement of the dues. In a series of tweets last year, Mallya offered to negotiate with banks for one-time settlement of dues and sought the Supreme Court’s intervention.
Banks had previously turned down Mallya’s offer of Rs 6,868 crore in April 2016 to settle the dues that are in excess of Rs 9,000 crore, including interest. The loans were advanced to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines between 2006-2012.