New Delhi: A day after describing fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya as “smart” and citing his examples to encourage people at an event in Hyderabad, Union minister Jual Oram today said he “accidentally” took 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,” Jual Oram told news agency ANI.
Speaking at the maiden National Tribal Entrepreneurs Conclave 2018, on Friday, the Minister for Tribal Welfare said, “You people criticise Vijay Mallya. But what is Vijay Mallya? He is smart. He employed some intelligent people. He did something here and there with bankers, politicians, government."
"He bought them. Who prevented you (from being smart)? Who asked Adivasis not to influence the system? Who prevented you from influencing bankers," the minister added.
Jual Oram said though people belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes get reservation in education, jobs and politics, the disadvantage is that they are not "treated" on par with others in terms of knowledge and talent.
Vijay Mallya, who fled the country in March 2016, is currently facing an extradition trial in a UK court over money laundering charges by Indian banks.
Talking to over 1000 tribal entrepreneurs from across the country, the Union minister said some people belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes shy away from disclosing their surname fearing discrimination in society but they must not do that.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi wishes that SC/STs should no longer remain job-seekers, they should become job givers. We should fulfil his wish. As a minister, I am determined to do that," Jual Oram.