Pune: All officers and employees of the Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) on Saturday protested by wearing black stripes against the board’s decision to divest power of MD and CEO RP Marathe and ED RK Gupta in the alleged case regarding Pune-based DSK builder group. The protest will continue till July 5.
The employees had gathered at the public sector bank head office ‘Lokmangal’ in Shivajinagar, to protest. They demanded that the Central government must restore powers of Marathe and Gupta.
All unions have formed a forum named ‘United Forum of Mahabank Unions’ to condemn and protest against the ‘unfortunate, unwarranted decision’ taken by the board and the directions given by Central government’s department of financial services (DFS) to the Board. The union has informed that the period of June 30 to July 5 will be observed as protest week all over the country and nationwide branches and offices of the BoM.
Vasant Ponkshe, Secretary of All India Bank Officers Association (AIBA), said, “There is already confusion whether the State police were right or wrong in arresting the CMD and then the Central government has seized his powers in a haste. There are others banks also who gave loans to DSK Group but no action has been taken. Out of Rs 700 crore given in loan to DSK Group by the banks, the BoM had given only Rs 95 crore. The BoM has also initiated proceedings to recover the loan amount.”
Rajeev Tamhane of the Bank of Maharashtra Officers Organisation (BOMOO), said, “The BoM is the financial lifeline of Maharashtra state. The recent decision is treated as a deliberate effort to tarnish the image of the bank which is well-known for working for common people of the country. It is decided to make wholehearted efforts to rebuild the image by each and every employee of the bank. Here a special point to note is that right from top management to part-time sweeper, every one of the 14,000 employees across the country has unitedly backed the protest movement.”
A review was taken by the United Forum of Mahabank Union representatives regarding the whole proceedings. The team of unions representatives has met AC Rout who is now officiating MD and CEO to brief the position and to assure full support of all unions taken together to the management of the bank.
Viraj Tikekar, Executive President of BOMOO, added, “It is also decided that if the board and DFS authorities do not take due cognisance of the protest of employees of the bank, a meeting of the United forum will be organised on July 6 at the bank’s headquarter at Pune to decide the further course of action. All the employees working in and around Pune city as well as the representatives from all parts of the country will be attending the meeting.”
City-based real estate developer DS Kulkarni, his wife and others are facing charges for duping people to the tune of Rs 2,043 crore. The banks are accused of illegally giving loans to the DSK Group. The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Pune city police which is investigating the case, have arrested DS Kulkarni, his wife, and others besides BoM officials. The bank officials are currently out on bail.