London, July 9: Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya launched a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi government pressing for his extradition from the United Kingdom. Mallya said New Delhi wants to "hang him on a holy cross" to garner more votes in the upcoming general elections next year.
Mallya, 62, left India in March 2016 after a consortium of 17 Indian banks moved the court seeking his arrest for becoming a "wilful defaulter". The former 'King of Good Times' owes nearly Rs 9,000 crores to the state and non-state lenders combined.
The British court had recently allowed the enforcement agencies to seize the UK assets of Mallya. The latter, however, claims he remains unaffected as most of his assets in England are owned by his children and mother.
"There’s a few cars, a few items of jewellery and I said ‘OK, fine. You don’t have to bother to come to my house to seize them. I’ll physically hand them over. Tell me the time, date and place," Mallya said, while speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the British Formula One Grand Prix.
Mallya's super-luxury country house in UK, along with the residence in London where he is currently staying, will remain untouched as they are owned by his son and mother, respectively.
Mallya, who owned the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, said he has presented assets valuing $2 billion before the Karnataka High Court, which "would settle the dues of all banks and other creditors".
He accused the Enforcement Directorate of "illegally" seizing his assets, which is preventing to sell-off the properties and repay the loan. In the meanwhile, he adds, the banks are "exponentially" adding interest to the unpaid amount of loans.