A day after calling fugitive tycoon Vijay Mallya ‘a smart person’ who ‘bought bankers and politicians’ in his favour, Union minister Jual Oram on Saturday expressed regret for his words. He claimed to have accidentally taken Mallya’s name.
“I accidentally took Vijay Mallya’s name. I should have taken someone else’s name. I should not have taken his name, it was my mistake,” Mr Oram told news agency ANI.
In an apparent foot-in-the-mouth moment, Oram on Friday exhorted the tribal community to become as ‘smart’ as Vijay Mallya, describing how he influenced the system to spin things in his favour.
Speaking at event attended by over 1,000 tribal entrepreneurs from across the country, Oram said, “You abuse Vijay Mallya. But who is Vijay Mallya? He is smart. He employed some intelligent people. He did something here and there with bankers, politicians and the government… He bought them… Who prevented you (from being smart)? Who asked adivasis not to influence the system? Who prevented you from influencing bankers.”
Mallya fled the country in March 2016. He is currently facing an extradition trial in a UK court over money laundering charges by Indian banks.
Twitter soon took notice of the gaffe and roasted the minister for his remark.
Aur banao namuno ko mantri
— Sanjay Bhatnagar (@B95207197Sanjay) July 14, 2018
What a thinking, ye haal to ministers ke hai, baaki Kaa to punchoo mat
— Narendra Kumar Meena (@Narendra_2381) July 14, 2018
— V.Arun Kumar (@VArunKu60903258) July 14, 2018
Though, there were some who said what the minister had said was actually right.
He’s certainly not wrong.
Calling spade a spade !
— mukesh vig (@vigmukesh) July 14, 2018
Why the shock. The Minister has stated an obvious fact. These days media gets shocked by facts __
— Surendra Vijen (@SurendraVijen) July 14, 2018
What he said is A bitter truth
— OMESH PAL RAMPAL (@chogawiaan) July 14, 2018