Bangalore: After months of speculations and backdoor negotiations, Canara Bank has finally decided against taking over the beleaguered Amanath Co-operative Bank (ACB) today, much to the shock of depositors and well wishers.
According to sources close to Nasheman, Canara Bank’s board made the announcement at a court hearing here, retracting its earlier intention to take over the co-operative in August last year.
Despite numerous attempts, Nasheman was unable to contact Canara Bank officials to get a confirmation on their announcement, however, according to Karnataka Wakf Protection Joint Action Committee president, Sardar Ahmed Quraishi, “the merger will not take place.”
Following directives from RBI last year, to either merge the crisis hit Amanath Bank with another bank, or in failure of which – the liquidation of the bank, Canara Bank had come forward to take over the bank. However, since its announcement, the issue has become a political potboiler, with former Union minister C K Jaffer Sharief filing a petition against the merger and seeking CBI probe into the bank’s affairs.
Although it’s unsure, why Canara Bank decided to go against the merger, when even the Karnataka high court had given a green signal to take over ACB, according to terms approved by the Reserve Bank of India in early August this year, but inside sources told Nasheman that the Bank had waited long enough, and did not wanted to be involved in the politics surrounding it any longer.
The announcement made by Canara Bank last year, had brought a ray of hope to over 2 lakh 30 thousand depositors and customers, whose life savings was stuck in ACB, after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in its position had restricted the bank from allowing withdrawals of more than Rs. 1,000 in six months, leaving depositors in the lurch.
However, with Canara’s new decision, depositors are disappointed and blame the state’s minority Muslim leaders to the bank’s debacle.
Rasool Wazir, a bank depositor said, “my entire family has deposits in the bank, we are not sure, if we will ever get back our money. These politicians have played a dirty game with the lives of the people”.
“Will they (politicians) pay for our livelihood? Will they take the responsibility?” asked Altaf Siddiqui another depositor.
The next court hearing will be held next week.