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Congress bank dare to Modi

Allow account holders of PMC Bank to withdraw deposits instead of throwing meaningless challenges to the Opposition

By Our Special Correspondent in New Delhi

  • Published 17.10.19, 5:06 AM
  • Updated 17.10.19, 5:06 AM
The RBI had imposed restrictions on withdrawals from PMC Bank because of certain irregularities, triggering panic among the customers.
The RBI had imposed restrictions on withdrawals from PMC Bank because of certain irregularities, triggering panic among the customers. Telegraph file picture

The Congress on Wednesday dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow account holders of PMC (Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative) Bank to withdraw their deposits instead of throwing meaningless challenges to the Opposition.

The Congress contended that the principle of accountability and responsibility to respond to the citizens’ plight applied to the government but the Prime Minister was misleading the nation by diversionary ploys.

On the Assembly election campaign trail, Modi has been daring the Opposition to commit to restore the special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

“Stop throwing challenges to the Opposition. If you have the courage, if you have the guts, declare today that PMC accountholders can withdraw as much as they want from the bank. You are in Maharashtra today, make this announcement if you have the courage. We will hail your courage,” Congress spokesperson Akhilesh Pratap Singh told a media conference.

The Congress spokesperson added: “You always keep asking questions, throwing challenges to the Opposition. It is your duty to answer questions. You are running the country. People are in panic because of the PMC Bank crisis. Fear is spreading fast. Show your guts and declare that restrictions are gone and customers are free to withdraw their money.”

The RBI had imposed restrictions on withdrawals from PMC Bank because of certain irregularities, triggering panic among the customers. While the initial limit announced was low — Rs 10,000 over six months, it was enhanced to Rs 25,000 after nationwide outrage.

The agitation continued and three customers have already lost their lives. The limit has now been increased to Rs 40,000. With this limit, the bank said 77 per cent customers can withdraw their entire deposits.

The death of three customers intensified the unrest and customers held a demonstration on Wednesday again in Mumbai, asking the Prime Minister to lift the restrictions altogether.

The Congress aligned with the public sentiment. While the Rajasthan chief minister dared the Prime Minister to lift restrictions in Mumbai, spokesperson

Manish Tewari made the same demand from Nagpur in addition to the Delhi news conference.

In Delhi, the spokesperson said: “It is a matter of shame for a Prime Minister that lakhs of people are crying for their money. Modi inflicted similar pain on the citizens of this country by announcing demonetisation. The customers have been agitating but finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s attitude has been insensitive.

“This government does not have the capacity to heal people’s wounds. It is not only savings banks account but thousands of businessmen and industrialists have accounts in PMC Bank and they have not been able to pay salaries to the staff. Their businesses are suffering.”

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