If Mallya wanted to repay debts, he had many years to do so: M J Akbar

Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar today said if fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya wanted to repay his bank dues, he had many years to do so.

"If Mallya wanted to pay to the banks, I think he had...many, many years in which he could have done so," Akbar told a press conference, in response to a question about the fugitive liquor baron claiming that he had tried to settle the dues and had become a victim of sorts.

Mallya, who is wanted in India for bank loan default, today said he had become the "Poster Boy" of bank default and a lightning rod of public anger, and that there was nothing he could do "if politically motivated extraneous factors interfere" with his efforts to settle the dues.

Speaking after "two years of silence" on the controversy surrounding him in the over Rs 9,000-crore Kingfisher Airlines loan default case, Mallya denied that he was a wilful defaulter.

Mallya is currently undergoing an extradition trial in a UK court over fraud and money-laundering charges by Indian authorities.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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