VIJAYAWADA: Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member KVP Ramachandra Rao in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday requested her to continue Andhra Bank as a separate PSU bank.
“If the merger is inevitable in the interest of the national economy, at least retain the name of Andhra Bank to the group of banks to be merged with it as a mark of reverence to Bhogaraju Pattabhi Sitaramayya and as a mark of respect to the sentiments of 10 crore Telugu people,” Ramachandra Rao said.
He said the Andhra Bank was founded in 1923 by Bhogaraju Pattabhi Sitaramayya, a great patriot and freedom fighter and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. It was the only nationalised bank founded in Andhra Pradesh and considered the pride of Telugu people in the last 96 years, he explained.
“In this context, it is pertinent to mention that the Government of India might have thought that the consolidation or merger of public sector banks is essential to strengthen the banking system and increase their efficiency and risk appetite. But merging a bank entangled with the honour of Telugu people and camouflaging its name permanently will hurt their feelings,” he said in the letter.
He said Telugu people, particularly in Andhra Pradesh, were feeling that the Central government was completely ignoring their sentiments since the bifurcation of the first linguistic State and consequent failure of the BJP government to fulfil the assurances given to AP in Parliament.
“Now, the government’s decision to ‘Damnatio Memoriae’ the Andhra Bank hurts their sentiments. I strongly feel that this at least shall not happen when a daughter-in-law of Andhra is heading the Union Ministry of Finance,” he said.