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Rahul demands Jaitley's resignation over Mallya's claim

Hours after fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya claimed that he met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving India, Congress president Rahul Gandhi asked the latter to step down from the post.

Gandhi took to Twitter and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should order an independent probe into the matter.

"Given Vijay Mallya's extremely serious allegations in London today, the PM should immediately order an independent probe into the matter. Arun Jaitley should step down as Finance Minister while this probe is underway," the Congress chief tweeted.

Earlier today, Mallya, who left India in March 2016, claimed that he had met the Finance Minister before leaving for London. "I met the Finance Minister before I left," Mallya claimed outside Westminster Magistrates' Court where his extradition case is being heard.

Meanwhile, Congress leader PL Punia told ANI that he saw both Jaitley and Mallya having a discussion in the Central Hall of the Parliament. "I saw both Arun Jaitley and Vijay Mallya having a discussion in the Central Hall of the Parliament. This can be verified with CCTV footage from that day," Punia said.

However, Jaitley has rebuffed the claims by Mallya and said that he never gave any appointment to the latter since 2014.

In a press statement issued on Wednesday, Jaitley said: "The statement (by Vijay Mallya) is factually false in as much as it does not reflect truth. Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise."

Mallya, who is wanted in India for defaulting on bank loans to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, has been in the UK since March 2016.