Ex-PM Manmohan Singh Helped Vijay Mallya, Alleges BJP

NEW DELHI: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh helped tycoon Vijay Mallya get loans, the BJP alleged today, citing letters that have been reported in the media.

The BJP cited a report that said the UPA government facilitated loans to Mr Mallya after he allegedly wrote to Manmohan Singh and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in 2011 and 2013.

The letters allegedly requested that loans to Mr Mallya’s defunct Kingfisher Airlines from a consortium of banks be speeded up.

“From where did Vijay Mallya procure such funds? Was sinking ship (Congress) helping sinking airline (Kingfisher)” questioned BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.

Mr Patra said even though the loans were not repaid, Mr Mallya was granted loans again and again.

Mr Mallya moved to Britain in March last year in the middle of efforts by a group of banks to recover nearly 9,000 crores in unpaid loans to Kingfisher airlines.

Indian agencies have since made several attempts to bring back the businessman, who faces warrants in courts. Mr Mallya has said he is living in “forced exile”.

Dr Singh and Mr Chidambaram will address the media later today but it is not known whether they will respond to the allegations.

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