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NCP targets Centre over ‘high profile’ banking fraud cases

The NCP hit out at the Centre on Tuesday over some of the ‘high profile’ banking frauds which have come to light recently, and asked if the government intends to publish the list of such cases.

Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, in a note to a parliamentary panel, had said earlier that when he headed the apex bank, he sent a list of high profile cases related to banking frauds to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for a coordinated action.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders Ajit Pawar, Jayant Patil, Supriya Sule, Dhananjay Munde and Nawab Malik, in a post on their respective Twitter accounts, asked whether fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya was on the list.

They also sought to know the number of defaulters arrested so far.

“Ex RBI Governor #RaghuramRajan had mentioned that the list of high profile defaulters was sent to the PMO. Do they intend to publish it? Was Vijay Mallya on the list? How many of the fugitive defaulters have been arrested? @PMOIndia @narendramodi @arunjaitley @AmitShah,” the NCP leaders asked in their Twitter posts.

They posed the questions to the Centre under the Sharad Pawar-led party’s ’56 questions to those with 56-inch chest’ campaign, an apparent reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government.

Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Modi had claimed at an election rally in Uttar Pradesh that only a person with a “56-inch chest” (implying a bold approach) could solve problems faced by the country.

Rajan, who headed the RBI from September 2013 to September 2016, had said that in the note to the parliamentary panel, he pointed out that the size of frauds in the public sector banking system has been increasing, though still small relative to the overall volume of NPAs.

Rajan’s statement assumes significance in the light of diamond jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, in connivance with certain bank officials, allegedly cheating the Punjab National Bank of about Rs 14,000 crore through issuance of fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs).

Mallya allegedly cheated a consortium of nationalised banks to the tune of several thousands of crores, as per the Enforcement Directorate.

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