POLITICS

Breach Of Privilege Notice Against SBI Chief Arundhati Bhattacharya For Her Remarks On Farm Loans Waiver

Apparently her comments were hurtful to suffering farmers. 

17/03/2017 2:57 PM IST | Updated 17/03/2017 2:57 PM IST
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MUMBAI -- The opposition on Friday moved a notice of breach of privilege of the Maharashtra assembly against Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson of State Bank Of India, for her comments on farm loans waiver.

The Leader of Opposition in the assembly, Congress's Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, moved the notice under the Maharashtra Legislature's Section 273, addressed to Speaker Haribhau Bagade.

In the notice, Vikhe Patil said that in recent times there has been a spate of farmland suicides across the country and 8,000 farmers have ended their lives in the past two years in Maharashtra alone.

"The people of Maharashtra have been demanding a complete farm loans waiver package and the issue has been repeatedly raised in the legislature in the past few days. In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has assured it will take a decision on loans waiver in the very first cabinet meeting," Vikhe Patil said.

Under these circumstances, he pointed out that Bhattacharya's public comments that such a measure "would disturb the credit discipline among the borrowers, they would keep expecting more such waivers in future and even those (future) loans would remain unpaid" was tantamount to rubbing salt in the farmers' wounds.

Vikhe Patil said the SBI chief was "a public servant" and not "a policy-maker" for the country or the state.

Besides, he said her comments were beyond her jurisdiction since any decision on waiving off farm loans can be taken only by the legislature and by her comments she had insulted the Maharashtra legislature.

Keeping these aspects in view, he urged the Speaker to take further steps.

Vikhe Patil's move came a day after the opposition parties trolled Bhattacharya for her comments and demonstrated outside the SBI headquarters.

The opposition on Thursday demanded an apology to the farmers failing which they threatened to move a notice of breach of privilege against the SBI chief.

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