Published On: Mon, Feb 6th, 2017

Neither Monmohan Singh nor I dealt with any letter on Mallya: Chidamabaram

New Delhi: Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday said that neither he as Union Finance Minister or then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dealt with any letter to give favours to the now-grounded Kingfisher Airlines chief Vijay Mallya.

He also said that when loans to Mallya were given in 2009, he was not in the Finance Ministry

“Neither Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) nor I dealt with the letter. And especially the letter to me was not concerning Kingfisher, it concerned the US shell,” former Finance Minister P Chidamabaram said in an interview to India Today TV.

He also said that when loans to Mallya were given in 2009, he was not in the Finance Ministry.

“Loans under investigation were given in 2009. It so happened that I was not in the Finance Ministry then, so I can’t comment on that,” Chidamabaram said.

“Will they (BJP) release the letter that was acted upon, we don’t know whether the what work was done. Will anyone reveal that any illegal work was done? Nothing is known.

“All I know is when I returned to the Finance Ministry his loans, dues to the tax department were mounting, I think we attached aircraft, I assigned Excise Department and Service Department his properties and he didn’t comment, or protest or complain to various officers.

“But we said listen unless you show some bonafides by paying some amount, these attachments cannot be lifted… that’s the only interaction I had with him in the last two years of my tenure in the Finance Ministry.

“But I really don’t know how these loans were handled in 2009. If there was something illegal about the way loans were handled it must be investigated but don’t immediately lay at the door of the Prime Minister’s office,” he said.

He also said that the Prime Minister is not a clerk and hundreds of letters remain on his table. “These letters are marked to various officers and departments. Now it for them to take what is the appropriate action,” Chidambaram said, adding: “If anyone of them has acted inappropriately or illegally, of course it should be investigated.”

“But to say that letter was adressed to PM and then the PM has taken the action, it betrays the complete lack of ignorance on how the Prime Minister’s Office works,” he added.

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