Andhra Pradesh's ruling YSR Congress Party and opposition Congress have taken exception to the Centre's decision to merge Andhra Bank with two other banks, and said that it amounts to hurting the sentiments of the Telugu people. They demanded that the Centre withdraw its decision and if merger is inevitable the name of Andhra Bank should be retained.
YSRCP MP Vallabhaneni Balashowry strongly opposed the merger announced on Friday. The Lok Sabha member from Machilipatnam also wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard on Saturday. The MP pointed out that Telugu people have an emotional attachment with Andhra Bank. He said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman should reconsider her decision to merge Andhra Bank with other banks.
â€œAt the same time, the headquarters of the three merged banks should be located in Andhra Pradesh," he added.
Sitharaman on Friday announced merger of 10 public sector banks into four large entities. She said Andhra Bank would be merged with the Union Bank and Corporation Bank.
Congress party leader and Rajya Sabha member KVP Ramachandra Rao has also urged the Centre to withdraw its decision to merge Andhra Bank.
Rao wrote a letter to Sitharaman, opposing the move. He demanded that the process of merger should be stopped and Andhra Bank should be allowed to continue as a separate entity. He said the merger would hurt the sentiments of Telugu people. The MP also wrote that in case merger is inevitable, the name of Andhra Bank should be retained.
â€œThe government might have thought the merger of public sector banks was essential to strengthen the banking system, but merging a bank entangled with the honor of the Telugus and removing its name permanently has definitely hurt their feelings," he reportedly wrote in this letter.
Rao said the name of Andhra Bank should be continued in memory of freedom fighter Pattabhi Sitaramayya, who founded it as a private bank in 1923 in Machilipatnam.