The Congress and the BJP on Thursday accused each other of colluding with fugitive liqour baron Vijay Mallya.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has alleged that finance minister Arun Jaitley had "colluded with the criminal" and allowed him to escape from the country.
Stepping up the attack on Jaitley, the Congress chief said party MP P L Punia saw him sitting with Mallya in the Central Hall of Parliament on March 1, 2016 and held an elaborate 15-20 minute meeting with him.
Punia said he had seen Jaitley and Mallya talking discreetly when he was in the Central Hall of Parliament.
"On March 3, we heard from the media that he (Mallya) fled the country on March 2. I have clearly stated about this in each of my interview with the media. There are CCTV cameras, we can all see that for proof. If I am wrong, I will resign from politics," Punia said.
The charge came a day after the former Kingfisher Airlines boss said in London that he met Jaitley before leaving India and offered to settle his dues, a charge the finance minister denied as "false".
However, union Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad suggested that Rahul Gandhi could be hands-in-glove with Vijay Mallya, who in turn alleged to have met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before fleeing the country in March 2016.
"These statements have been made just a few days after Rahul Gandhi returned from London. Is there any 'saanjhedaari' (collaboration) between the two (Rahul Gandhi and Vijay Mallya)," he questioned.
Attacking Rahul Gandhi at a press meet, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra, showing a purported confessional statement of a hawala trader, alleged that the Congress chief had links with a shell company.
He claimed that Rahul Gandhi was on the backfoot in the case of Kingfisher Airlines and its promoter Vijay Mallya as well as the entire Gandhi family travelled on the airline and their travel was upgraded to business class for free.
"The entire Gandhi family was in fact helping Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines with the sweet deal," Patra said, while showing a bunch of documents related to the loans given by banks to the airline.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that a lookout notice against Mallya was diluted from "Block" to "Report" which helped in his departure.
Swamy tweeted: "We have now two undeniable facts on the Mallya escape issue: 1. Look Out Notice was diluted on Oct 24, 2015 from "Block" to "Report" departure enabling Mallya to depart with 54 checked luggage items. 2. Mallya told FM in Central Hall of Parliament that he was leaving for London."
Swamy also claimed that the dilution had been done at a very high level.
(With agency inputs)
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