Who diluted Mallya's lookout notice: Swamy's fresh ammo against Jaitley

Mallya is Swamy's latest weapon against Jaitley

A combination picture of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Subramanian Swamy and Vijay Mallya | File A combination picture of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Subramanian Swamy and Vijay Mallya | File

The 'hatred' between Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy is no secret. Swamy, whom Jaitley thinks is a "motormouth" according to his close aides, never wastes an opportunity to take a dig at his party colleague. Not surprisingly, fugitive baron Vijay Mallya is the latest launchpad for Swamy to fire his freshly-loaded ammunition against the finance minister.

The BJP has found itself on the defensive after Mallya stated he had met Jaitley in the corridors of Parliament before leaving India in March 2016. Adding more fuel to the fire is Swamy who retweeted his own tweet from June 2018 on Wednesday. The tweet said, "Mallya could not escape from India because of a strong Look Out Notice for him at airports. He then came to Delhi and met someone who was powerful enough to change the Notice from blocking his departure to just reporting his departure. Who was that person who dilute this LON?"

On Thursday, he further asked: “I learn from my sources that the Lookout Notice issued by CBI for Mallya was modified from “Block Departure” to “Report Departure” on October 24, 2015 on orders from someone in MoF. Who?” 

Notably, five months later, Mallya, who owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to Indian banks, flew out of the country in March 2016. 

With the opposition now baying for Jaitley's blood, there's more voice for Swamy than Jaitley at the moment, until the BJP devices a strategy to find its way out of the issue.

Earlier in January, Swamy had praised Manmohan Singh's tenure as the finance minister and denounced the practise of handing over the finance portfolio to lawyers. "After seeing Mr P Chidambaram and Mr Arun Jaitley, we should have moratorium on having lawyers as the finance minister," he said, adding, "Everybody knows what I think about Arun Jaitley. If you want to improve economy, then you must know difference between macroeconomics and microeconomics."

When asked whether he could persuade Jaitley to abolish income tax at the same event, Swamy said: "I have to persuade Arun Jaitley to resign and go, and not to persuade him to abolish Income Tax which he will never do."

In 2016, Swamy had created headlines after he issued a veiled threat on Twitter, in an obvious attack against Jaitley. “People giving me unasked for advice of discipline and restraint don’t realise that if I disregard discipline there would be a bloodbath,” he had tweeted. This was after Jaitley had urged him to restrain and maintain discipline as Swamy attacked the then Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian.