NEW DELHI: The BJP sought Thursday the resignation of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi over his family's alleged links with fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya and claimed the UPA government had helped the ailing Kingfisher Airlines.
The BJP Thursday came out strongly in defense of its leader Arun Jaitley, a day after Mallya claimed he met the finance minister before leaving India, in 2016.
The charge was dismissed as "factually false" by the Jaitley.
Addressing a press conference at the party office here, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said since 2010, all laws were broken and the RBI was roped in to help Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines by the UPA government which was led by Sonia Gandhi.
"Now, we are being blamed.
The prime minister, finance minister of the former UPA government helped Kingfisher in so many ways," Goyal alleged and asserted Mallya had no credibility as he was under the "glare of law" and was a criminal.
Goyal demanded Gandhi's resignation, claiming that due to his family's "relations" with Mallya, banks were pressured by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to sanction loans to the fugitive businessman, violating all norms.
"Rahul Gandhi should answer what were the relations between his family and Mallya.
He should resign from all posts and people of the country will ensure he should resign," Goyal said.
He claimed the Congress-led UPA went out of the way to help Kingfisher Airlines.
"All norms, laws and regulations were passed to help the Kingfisher Airlines and specific instructions were given by the Congress-led UPA government to banks for restructuring of loans for the company," Goyal alleged.
The party also played a video showing then civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi saying that the government needs to help Kingfisher.
Goyal said both Rahul Gandhi and Mallya were "playing duet of lies" and questioned the relation between the Gandhi family and Kingfisher.
He asked why banks and the RBI were allegedly pressurised to help Kingfisher airlines.
"We have been chasing bank defaulters in the best possible manner. We passed the Fugitive Offenders Bill," he said.