New Delhi: It’s a witness-versus-witness duel in the political battleground of New Delhi. If Congress president Rahul Gandhi presented PL Punia as an eyewitness to a meeting between finance minister Arun Jaitley and economic offender Vijay Mallya, rebel Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla has now claimed to be an eyewitness to a Nirav Modi event in September 2013, which was attended by Gandhi!

Gandhi presented senior Congress leader Punia today in a high-voltage press conference in the capital, claiming the latter was a witness to the meeting between Vijay Mallya and Arun Jaitley that allegedly took place in the central hall of Parliament.

Rahul Gandhi said, “Yesterday, Mr Jaitley said Mallya had informally met him. He writes blogs but he never wrote anything about this meeting anywhere before. Jaitley lied, PL Punia was a witness to the meeting between Jaitley and Mallya in Parliament for 15 min.”

Backing Gandhi, Punia claimed, “In 2016, during the Budget Session, I saw Jaitley and Mallya speak for a long time in the central hall. They sat and started speaking for a considerable period of time. During the Budget Session, Mallya came only once to Parliament. Two days later, he left for London.”


But Shehzad’s claim has put the Congress in a fix as the loan to Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi were allegedly given to them around the same time in 2013 when Rahul Gandhi, then Congress vice president, attended a cocktail party and bridal wear event held at the Imperial Hotel in Lutyen’s Delhi. Shehzad further claimed, “He (Rahul Gandhi) was wearing a white shirt and blue jeans.”

Punia said, “There is a record in the central hall, there is CCTV footage. I will quit politics if I am proven wrong.” But Shehzad has bowled a bigger bouncer, offering to take a lie detector test and asking Rahul Gandhi to do the same in a series of tweets.

In this witness vs witness battle, who will have the last laugh? Only time can tell.