DAYS after a UK court ordered the extradition of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said Thursday that it was “not right” to call someone a “fraud” who had repaid loans for 40 years but defaulted once he entered the aviation sector and ran into problems.
Speaking at the Times Network-organised India Economic Conclave in Mumbai, Gadkari said, “Mujhe Vijay Mallya se kuch lena-dena nahin hai… 40 saal jab Mallya regular payment kar raha tha, byaaj bhar raha tha, tab Mallya ka prime account tha… aur 40 saal ke baad, aviation mein jaane ke baad… woh bhi mujhe malum hai history poori… uske baad woh adchan mein aaya toh woh ekdum chor ho gaya?… jo 50 saal byaaj bharta hai woh theek hai, par ek baar woh default ho gaya… toh thurant sab fraud ho gaya? Yeh mansikta theek nahin hai.”
“(I have nothing to do with Vijay Mallya… Mallya’s was a prime account for 40 years when he repaid loans regularly. He entered the aviation sector, and ran into problems. So does that make him a thief? He defaulted once, and he turned to be a fraud? This mindset is not right.)”