A day after opining that it is unfair to tag a "one-time loan defaulter Vijay Mallyaji" as a "chor" (thief), Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said his remarks on the embattled liquor tycoon were twisted and taken out of context by media.
Gadkari said he had termed legal proceedings against Mallya as appropriate.
"I had only said that if Mallya has done anything wrong and any legal proceedings against him is going on then it is 'uchit (proper) and appropriate," Gadkari told media here this evening.
"I also said unka (Vijay Mallya) account 40 saal prime account tha aur 41st saal mein bigad gaya, toh business mein ups and downs hote hain (there are ups and downs in business).
These remarks have been taken out of context," he said.
Gadkari attributed such 'ups and downs' to the global economy, external and internal factors and business cycle. "I had said (khulasa kiya tha) about these things, but both these things were twisted and taken out of context by a section of media," the senior BJP leader said.
At an event in Mumbai Thursday, Gadkari had said Mallya has a four-decade-long track record of timely debt servicing.
He had clarified that he has no business dealing with Mallya, who faces extradition from the UK for alleged bank fraud and money laundering amounting to an estimated Rs 9,000 crore.
"40 saal Mallya regular payment kar raha tha, byaaj bhar raha tha. 40 saal baad jab wo aviation mein gaya..uske baad wo adchan mein aaya to woh ekdum chor ho gaya?..jo pachaas saal byaaj bharta hai wo theek hai, par ek baar wo default ho gaya..toh turant sab fraud ho gaya? Ye mansikta theek nahi hai."
(For 40 years Mallya was regularly paying interest on loans. After entering the aviation sector, he started facing problems, and suddenly he became a thief? If a person repays the interest for 50 years, and if he defaults once, then suddenly everything is fraud? This mindset is not correct), Gadkari had said.