NEW DELHI: BJP on Saturday said absconding tycoon Vijay Mallya being declared a fugitive economic offender by a Mumbai court has come as a feather in the ruling party’s cap and indicates its determination to combat corruption and will help the agencies bring the businessman to the book.

“Mallya being declared a fugitive is a feather in the cap for BJP’s fight against corruption and he can’t run away the law for too long,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said at a press conference on Saturday and accused Congress of failing to check Mallya’s acitivities under its watch.

“Mallya grew under the patronage of the Congress government. Despite 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 alleged. Patra also claimed Mallya was in touch with Congress leaders and read out from a letter the liquor baron allegedly wrote to then PM Manmohan Singh in which “he thanks him for his help and also begged for aid in securing a loan”.

Patra claimed 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. “This is the difference between the previous government and us that they gave him extraordinary help, but in our regime we declared him an offender and a fugitive.”

The BJP spokesperson said the decision to bring forward the tough law to declare people economic offenders could only be done by the Modi government that was uncompromising on fighting corruption.

Patra said various senior Congress leaders were used to receiving favours from Mallya. “Nabbing Mallya and winning the extradition battle in court was a result of our strict action against such fugitive offenders who flee after taking huge loans and then make a fool of our government,” he said.

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