oppn parties Mallya-Jaitley: Political Capital Out of Sidling Up

News Snippets

  • Trouble brews in Bihar JD(U)-BJP alliance as Bihar police asks special branch officers to keep tabs on RSS activities
  • Trust vote in Karnataka assembly today. With rebel MLAs deciding to stay away after the SC order, the Congress-JD(S) government is likely to fall as it does not have the numbers
  • Amit Shah says the government will identify and deport illegal immigrants from all parts of the country
  • Reports from Pakistan confirm that Hafiz Saeed has been arrested and sent to jail
  • After the SC order, Karnataka Speaker says he will go by the Constitution in deciding on the resignations of the 16 MLAs
  • Rebel MLAs say they will not attend the trust vote on Thursday
  • Supreme Court rules that rebel MLAs cannot be forced to attend the assembly and vote in the floor test
  • Both the Centre and the Assam government have sought re-verification of up to 20% of draft NRC data
  • Pakistan opens its airspace for Indian planes
  • Dilapidated building collapses in Mumbai, killing more than 10 people while many were still trapped
  • Kulbhushan Jadhav case verdict to be delivered today by the ICJ
  • A Vistara flight landed in Lucknow with just 5 to 10 minutes of fuel left in the tank
  • Supreme Court to decide on Karnataka MLAs plea today
  • Karnataka alliance to face floor test on Thursday
  • China says that the next Dalai Lama will be appointed by it
International Court of Justice agrees with India, stays Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution. It asks Pakistan to allow consular access to the accused.
oppn parties
Mallya-Jaitley: Political Capital Out of Sidling Up

By Linus Garg

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.
The Arun Jaitley-Vijay Mallya meeting issue has been blown out of proportion by a section of the press. If the fugitive entrepreneur was a member of parliament, he had access to the same pathways, halls and corridors which the finance minister had. If he catches up with the minister in one of these corridors and whispers something to him, does it qualify as a meeting? Obviously, it depends on what meaning one assigns to the word meeting. The dictionary says meeting means either “an assembly of people for a particular purpose, especially for formal discussion” or “a situation when two or more people meet, by chance or arrangement.

In this case, what Vijay Mallya first said in London, he obviously tried to portray the first meaning – that he had met the finance minister for a formal discussion, which obviously was not the case. Mallya himself admitted as much. In any case, whose word would you believe – that of a fugitive and absconder or a government minister? Jaitley has confirmed that Mallya had sidled up to him in the corridors of parliament one day and said that he wanted to make an offer of settlement. Jaitley said he asked him to talk to his bankers.

But since Jaitley is a public figure, a minister and a lawyer to boot, he made a mistake by not making the chance meeting public. He should have issued a statement at that time saying that Mallya had tried to make such an offer. He should have realized that a person like Mallya would try to make political capital out of the chance meeting. But that mistake does not make Jaitley a colluder or helper. The biggest mistake the government made was in not getting a court order impounding Mallya’s passport (as also that of Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and other high profile borrowers who are suspect) when it was known that he was in financial difficulty and might flee the country any day. The mistake is being compounded by not finding a way to bring him, and the others, to face trial in India.