Govt not interested in bringing back Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi: Congress

New Delhi: Congress on Monday said the government is “not interested” in bringing back liquor baron Vijay Mallya and former IPL boss Lalit Modi from Britain as it latched on the remarks by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday that India has not yet approached the UK.

Congress spokesman Jairam Ramesh said he saw something fishy in the ED not sending the required documents to the Ministry of External Affairs on the issue of extradition of Mallya, who is facing the charge of not paying back loans taken from banks to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees.

Swaraj’s statement that India has not yet approached the UK for extradition of Mallya and Modi is a clear indication that this government is “not interested” in bringing them back, Ramesh said.

As regards Lalit Modi, Ramesh noted that the Enforcement Directorate had on Novermber 14, 2015 made a statement that it was seeking his extradition and had reiterated it in May this year.

Such a statement cannot be made “without the knowledge” of the Finance Minister, the former minister said, adding yesterday, Swaraj had, however, tweeted “ED has not sent us an extradition request on Lalit Modi.”

Taking a dig at the government, he said this showed that the “distance between North Block (housing the Finance Ministry) and the South Block (housing the Ministry of External Affairs) is more than the distance to UK”.

Both Mallya and Modi are wanted by the ED in its money laundering probe and the agency has also sought a global arrest warrant against them from the Interpol.

Ramesh also attacked Swaraj’s statement that India will not oppose Pakistan’s entry into the NSG. “It is a strange statement….because it is known the world over that Pakistan is notorious for black marketing and illegal activities in matters nuclear”.