Manmohan backed Mallya, says expose

Begged only for help: liquor baron

Manmohan backed  Mallya, says expose
Fresh claims have emerged about liquor baron Vijay Mallya receiving undue favours from the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government . According to a Network18 report, Mallya disclosed to his staff he was seeking help from Manmohan Singh, the then prime minister, and P Chidambaram, the then finance minister, to run Kingfisher Airlines. DH could not independently verify the claims.

In an email dated June 10, 2010, Mallya purportedly told his senior staff he had asked his chief financial officer to put together  whatever money he could for the airline to get by till money came from the PMO or the finance minister’s office. Another letter, which Network18 says it has accessed, suggests Mallya wrote to Singh in October 2011, thanking him for facilitating a meeting where he could explain the problems faced by his airline. Kingfisher Airlines is now defunct.

Mallya’s letter says the company had approached a consortium of banks for additional funds. He said he been asked to approach the prime minister’s principal secretary, who is said to have spoken to the people concerned. Mallya on Saturday took to Twitter to say he ‘begged’ for help and not for money. Caught in a controversy over unpaid loans. he left India last March and now lives in the United Kingdom.

Recently, the CBI filed a charge sheet in connection with unpaid loans and arrested nine people. IDBI Bank was among the institutions that bent rules to give him loans, according to the CBI. Mallya tweeted he had sought policy changes, which were not forthcoming. “I begged for help. Not for loans, but policy changes — declared goods status for fuel, flat rate of state sales tax instead of ad valorem, FDI etc,” he said.

In a series of tweets, he questioned how ‘public funds’ were given to Air India. “KFA collapsed with oil at $ 140 per barrel and state sales tax on top rupee devaluation. No FDI engine failures. Economic depression. Need more?” he asked in a tweet. In another tweet, he said, “And KFA being the largest domestic airline was the worst hit. Government bailed out Air India, but did not bail out KFA. So much for favours.”

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