The BJP on Saturday claimed credit for Vijay Mallya being declared a fugitive economic offender, saying it was done under a law enacted by the Modi Government, and termed it as "a feather in its cap" in the fight against corruption.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said Mallya, accused of defaulting on loan repayments and money laundering, is the first businessman to be declared an FEO by court under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, and noted that the law was enacted by the Narendra Modi government in August last year.
He told a press conference that the law was brought in by the government to ensure that absconders like Mallya are brought to justice and attacked the previous Congress dispensation.
"Mallya grew under the patronage of the Congress government. Despite him being bankrupt, he was given loans and his loans were even restructured. He fled with Rs 9,000 crore of the country's money," he said.
Patra alleged that Mallya was in touch with Congress leaders and read out from a purported letter the liquor baron wrote to the then prime minister Manmohan Singh in which "he thanks him for his help and also begged for aid in securing a loan".
He claimed that Singh directed his secretary to help Mallya, and on November 14, 2011, in a press conference, the former PM had said that ways needed to be found to help Kingfisher.
"Various senior Congress leaders used to get favours from Mallya in return. Nabbing Mallya and winning the extradition was our strict action against such fugitive offenders who flee after taking huge amount of loan from India and then make fool of our government and government agencies," he said.
The Enforcement Directorate had requested the Prevention of Money Laundering Act court in Mumbai that Mallya, who is currently in the UK, be declared a fugitive and his properties be confiscated and brought under the control of the Union government.
Special judge M S Azmi declared Mallya an FEO under Section 12 of the Act after hearing extensive arguments from Mallya's lawyer and the ED counsel.
Mallya had left India in March 2016.