Bank officials resort to ‘Gandhigiri’ against ex-MLA, seek loan repayment


Bank staff staging a silent demonstration outside the residence of former MLA Ashok Kumar Bajpai in Allahabad.(HT Photo)

Officials of Punjab National Bank (PNB) in Allahabad on Wednesday resorted to ‘Gandhigiri’ seeking loan repayment from former MLA Ashok Kumar Bajpai. The bank employees staged a silent demonstration outside the residence of Bajpai as part of their ‘Gandhigiri’ campaign.

Sporting placards, the bank officials arrived at Bajpai’s house in Bai-Ka-Bagh locality. Much to the amusement of locals and passers-by, the officials staged a silent demonstration demanding repayment of loan worth Rs 65 crore that he had taken from their bank around a decade back.

Ashok’s mother late Rajendra Kumari Bajpai was a senior Congress leader and a Union minister in Indira Gandhi’s regime and his son Harsh Vardhan is the sitting BJP MLA from Allahabad North constituency.

As per reports, the bank officials after failing to convince Ashok Bajpai to repay the loan, came up with this out-of-the-box idea to recover the loan amount and as part of the strategy staged the ‘dharna’ right at the main gates of the former MLA’s house where his MLA son was listening to people’s grievances.

Meanwhile, Ashok Bajpai did not respond to calls on his mobile for comments.

As per the bank officials, Ashok Bajpai had taken a loan of Rs 65 crore from the bank’s Colonelganj branch in the name of Parerhat Gas Industries Limited of which he was the director. However, after he failed to repay the loan, the bank declared him a defaulter in 2012. The issue even went to the debts recovery tribunal but to no avail.

As per sources, Ashok Bajpai’s son and BJP MLA Harsh Vardhan was present at the home meeting locals but did not interact with the bank officials.

“Later, Ashok Bajpai did meet bank officials and assured to explore ways to repay the loan despite the firm against which the loan was taken now being shut,” said chief manager of PNB YN Pandey.

Pandey shared that similar ‘Gandhigiri’ initiatives featuring silent demonstrations with placards and offering flowers would be under taken against all major defaulters of the bank in an ongoing process.

Many banks facing serious problems owing to non-repayment of loans have resorted to similar demonstrations effectively against big defaulters in different states including Kerala, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh in the past.