NEW DELHI: Union minister Jual Oram on Saturday regretted citing the example of fugitive tycoon Vijay Mallya during a conclave where he advised scheduled caste and scheduled tribe entrepreneurs to become smart enough like him to avail bank loans and become successful entrepreneurs.
Speaking at the National Tribal Entrepreneurs Conclave 2018 in Hyderabad on Friday, the Tribal Affairs Minister said: "You people criticise Vijay Mallya. But what is Vijay Mallya? He is smart and employed some intelligent people. He did something here and there with bankers, politicians, government. He bought them too."
After being criticised, Oram on Saturday said he had made a mistake.
"I accidentally took Vijay Mallya's name. I should have taken someone else's name and should not have taken his name. It was my mistake," said Oram.
During the conclave, the Union minister asked people belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes to become entrepreneurs and intelligent.
Mentioning Mallya, Oram said: "Who prevented you (from being smart)? Who asked Adivasis not to influence the system? Who prevented you from influencing bankers?"
Mallya, who fled to the UK in March 2016, is undergoing an extradition trial in a UK court over fraud and money laundering charges brought against him by Indian authorities.