Mumbai: The Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank scam seems to have turned into a poll plank in Maharashtra. With the state Assembly elections just a few days away, the major political parties in the region have all taken up the issue in their own way and have assured a resolution to the victims.
On Friday, a group of PMC Bank depositors met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at an election rally. Fadnavis assured the aggrieved depositors that he would discuss their issues with Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he meets the latter on October 13. The CM was campaigning for BJP candidate and sitting MLA Sanjay Kelkar, who is also BJP's Thane City constituency candidate. Polls in Maharashtra are scheduled to take place on October 21.
"After the elections on October 21, we will follow up on this issue and ensure that the bank is bailed out at any cost. It will not meet the same fate as the other co-operative banks," he said.
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On the same day, Congress demanded a white paper on the PMC Bank scam to ascertain what had happened that led to a crisis in the bank and who were responsible for it. Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh also accused the BJP government of "ruining" the financial sector in the country that has brought about a "trust deficit in India's banking system" among the people.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Supriya Sule had earlier urged the Central government to set its "political agenda" aside and help the distressed depositors of the cooperative bank.
"Not everything in life is about politics — it's also about reality and honesty. I stand firmly with every honest depositor who needs our support and help. I request our Finance Minister, who is currently in Mumbai to campaign for her party, to help these honest citizens get their hard-earned money back immediately," Sule said in an interview to NDTV.
Even as other political parties have come out and spoken on the issue, Shiv Sena has somehow chosen a more cautious stance. On being asked recently to comment on the issue, Shiv Sena's youth wing president Aditya Thackeray told Republic World, "Shiv Sena is with the people and will take forward the demands of the people. Shiv Sena has worked for the people, we will discuss it with the people of PMC and see how justice will be served to the people. This is the government's responsibility."
PMC Bank is facing a financial crisis after an alleged Rs 4,500-crore scam came to light last month. The RBI has capped withdrawals from the bank at Rs 1,000 and later increased it to Rs 25,000 following protests by depositors.
The bank had loaned over 70 percent of its Rs 9,000-crore in loans to bankrupt realty player HDIL.