Vijaya Bank merger: Ivan D'Souza stages hunger strike

Vijaya Bank merger: Ivan D'Souza stages hunger strike

MLC Ivan D’Souza stages a hunger strike in front of the Gandhi statue near Town Hall in Mangaluru on Tuesday.

MLC Ivan D’Souza observed a one-day hunger strike in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue near the Town Hall on Tuesday in protest against the merger of Vijaya Bank with Bank of Baroda.

D’Souza, who is also Parliamentary Secretary to the chief minister, began the strike garlanding Gandhi’s statue and offering floral tribute to the portrait of A B Shetty, founder of Vijaya Bank.

Addressing the gathering, the MLC said that plans to merge Vijaya Bank has hurt the sentiments of the people of Dakshina Kannada. Merging a profit making bank with a bank that has incurred a loss of over Rs 4,000 crore is condemnable, he criticised.

“Vijaya Bank is the pride of Dakshina Kannada. It was set up for the welfare of farmers and the people of the district and changing the name of the bank is not justifiable,” he stressed and warned that the fight against the merger will continue till the Centre withdraws its decision.

D’Souza said that the merger will not help improve the financial condition of the banks. He urged the Central government to publish a white paper on the financial condition of the already merged banks in the country.

The MLC said that the chief minister has written to the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to reconsider the decision of the merger.

“Vijaya Bank has only 4% non-performing assets. Established in 1931, the Bank now has 79 branches in Dakshina Kannada, 63 in Udupi district, 583 in the state and 2,129 in the entire country,” he pointed out.

All India Vijaya Bank Officers Association Mangaluru Division President Surendra, MLC Harish Kumar, Deputy Mayor Mohammed K, Chief Whip of the Council of Mangaluru City Corporation Shashidhar Hegde and others supported the MLC by wearing a black ribbon.