Monday, December 25, 2017

Mallya a victim of flamboyance and arrogance: Gopinath

Mumbai: Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) founder Vijay Mallya is a "victim of flamboyance and arrogance rather than any political conspiracy", Air Deccan chairman G R Gopinath has said.

Gopinath, who is credited with making flying affordable through the no-frills airline, also said that the prevalent regulations "forced" KFA to acquire his company.

He sold Air Deccan to KFA for a total consideration of Rs 1,000 crore in 2007, during the heydays of the aviation sector.

"I think he (Mallya) has become more a victim of flamboyance and arrogance than of any political conspiracy," Gopinath told over the weekend.

The near-bankrupt Kingfisher Airlines has been grounded since 2012 and owes banks over Rs 9,000 crore, far less than bigger defaults in sectors like metals and infrastructure.

A regular at global partying circles, Mallya, whose interests include Formula-1 and an annual swimwear calendar, moved to London amid growing attention from the Indian law enforcement agencies and courts. He has now become the poster-boy of defaults.

The liquor baron was "not wise" about his activities during the days of default, Gopinath said, referring to him as a "political football", who borrowed money when the Congress-led UPA government was in power.

Without naming political parties, he pointed out that one party was disgruntled that Mallya was allowed to leave the country, while the other blamed the former for not taking adequate action against him for defaulting.

He also acknowledged that Mallya is a "poster boy for loan defaults", and hence, "both parties politically find him too close for comfort".
25/12/17 PTI/Times of India

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