Political war of words begins over sacking of J&K Bank chairman Parvez Ahmed
Three days after the sacking of J&K Bank's chairman Parvez Ahmed on charges of corruption, financial irregularities and nepotism, a massive political storm has erupted in the state over the issue.
The People's Democratic Party has lashed out at the Modi government and blamed it for infringing upon the autonomy of the state's institutions.
Speaking to India Today TV, PDP's political affairs committee member Ved Mahajan termed the decision to sack the chairman of the Bank "unfortunate".
He said that Parvez Ahmed was "an honest person who has been removed from his post due to political reasons".
On Saturday, the state administration had sacked J&K Bank's chairman Parvez Ahmed about four months before the end of his term. Sources say that Parvez Ahmed was removed from his post due to charges of nepotism, financial irregularities and illegal appointments in the bank.
However, Parvez Ahmed has rejected all charges and said that he was open to any kind of probe. He has been replaced by RK Chibber who is the first person from Jammu region to be appointed as the chairman of J&K bank.
The anti-corruption bureau also raided J&K bank's head office in Srinagar on Saturday and seized important documents from the chairman's office and HR section.
Sources say that about 1200 appointments in the bank were made through illegal means.
India Today TV has learnt from sources that the bank even gave loans to people and firms recommended by some prominent politicians of the state. Sources have also told that the funds meant for corporate social responsibility were also misused by the bank.
The BJP has welcomed that action taken by the Anti-Corruption Bureau against the J&K Bank. Speaking to India Today TV, senior BJP leader and former J&K Deputy CM Kavinder Gupta said that BJP was committed to the eradication of corruption in the state. On the other hand, the Panthers Party has claimed that the bank favoured both PDP and BJP leaders. Speaking to India Today TV, Panthers Party chairman Harshdev Singh said that a thorough probe must be conducted to expose the corrupt officials and leaders.
Activist and lawyer Ankur Sharma who had represented the job applicants who had filed the petition against the bank in court has claimed that he has evidence to prove financial irregularities in the bank. He even claimed that the bank was misused by some politicians to promote separatism in the state.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau was recently appointed in Jammu and Kashmir, the state which is currently reeling under President's rule. The ACB's action against J&K bank is being seen as a bid by the Modi government to clean up the rot in the institutions of J&K.