Cong says, it’s Bhagodon ka saath, Looteron ka vikaas

New Delhi: Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress party on Thursday said that it’s ‘Bhagodon ka saath, Looteron ka vikaas’ (Support to absconders, development of fleecers) in an apparent take-off on the government’s slogan ‘Sabka saath, sabka vikaas’ (Support of all, development for all).

Amidst shadow-boxing between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over fugitive Vijay Mallya’s claim that he left India after meeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Before leaving the country, ‘bhagoda’ (absconder) Vijay Mallya was seen with Arun Jaitley.

‘Bhagodon ka saath, looteron ka vikas’ seems to be Modi ji’s new slogan. Why are all the bhagodas (absconders) seen with the prime minister?

He further questioned if it was ethical for the Finance Minister to interact with someone embroiled in money-laundering controversy. “Is it legally, morally, ethically correct for the finance minister to interact with an absconder in such a manner?” Surjewala said.

He questioned why Mallya, who allegedly defaulted on banks loans worth Rs 90,000, was not arrested despite a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR registered against him.

On Wednesday, Mallya, who left India in March 2016, claimed that he had met the Finance Minister before leaving for London. “I met the Finance Minister before I left,” Mallya claimed outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court where his extradition case is being heard.

Jaitley, however, rebutted Mallya’s claim and told ANI: “I have seen the statement of Vijay Mallya where he claims to have met me with an offer of settlement. Nothing could be further from the truth. I never gave him (Mallya) an appointment, never at my office, never at my residence. Nor I was ever offered to meet him.”