Are Rahul, Mallya working in tandem, did Congress help him, asks R S Prasad

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad | File photo

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wondered on Thursday whether Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Vijay Mallya were "working in tandem" and claimed the liquor baron had allegedly benefitted from bank facilities during the UPA government.

In a series of tweets, the Union minister also questioned why a second restructuring of Mallya's loan was allowed in 2010 contrary to rules.

"Why was a second restructuring of Vijay Mallya's loan allowed in 2010 contrary to the rules? At whose behest did the RBI direct the SBI to grant this restructuring," he asked.

He said he could understand why the Congress was becoming uncomfortable when the banking system was being made transparent and accountable.

"Remember from 1947 to 2008 Rs 18 trillion bank loans were disbursed, which increased to Rs 52 trillion by 2014 under UPA-II led by the Congress...

"This comes after the visit of Rahul Gandhi to London. Are Vijay Mallya and Rahul Gandhi working in tandem? Is the Congress keen to save Vijay Mallya who benefitted from the bank facilities during the UPA government," Prasad tweeted.

He said the Congress sought to make an issue of exchange of "just half a sentence" between the two.

The law minister's reaction came after Gandhi accused the government and Jaitley of lying on the issue and alleged the finance minister had "colluded with the criminal" and allowed to him to escape from the country.

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