Mega Bank Merger: Shattered emotional ties of Andhrites with Andhra Bank
Andhra Bank founded by Bhogaraju Pattabhi Sitaramayya, a veteran freedom fighter has earned a special place in people of undivided Andhra Pradesh. The government announcement regarding the merger of Public Sector Undertaking includes the union of Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank with Union Bank of India. This has come as a shock to all Andhrites who have emotional ties with the bank since the colonial regime. Kondala Rao, chairman of the Andhra Bank Employees Union recalled the history of Andhra Pradesh and how it came to aid of Indians by saying, ” During colonial times when farmers had to fall on the feet of British officers, literally begging for a loan of Rs 50. Pattabhi Sitaramayya established the bank dedicated to Andhra state to inculcate a sense of pride among Indians.” He further expressed the displease on NDA government for sanctioning the merger that hurt the sentiments of Andhrites. Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee Legal Cell chairman C. Sundararama Sarma also expressed his anguish over the decision that displeased all Andhrites.
Andhra Bank has a rich history of issuing credits and Kisan cards dating back to times of the freedom movement. Followers and supporters of Andhra Bank and Pattabhi Sitaramayya are now suspecting a wider agenda of BJP’s plan to erase the images of Congress icons like Jawaharlal Nehru by replacing the Planning Commission with NITI Aayog and the dilution of the National Development Council. Pattabhi Sitaramayya is a veteran freedom fighter and also a staunch follower of Mahatma Gandhi, hence, Pattabhi’s followers are suspecting similar pattern of erasing regional history with merger banks as well. With the merger, the Andhra Bank will lose its identity and logo as it merges into the Union Bank of India. The new amalgamation will have its headquarters in Mumbai. In the process of merger, the bank has not just lost its logo and identity but also rattled the emotional connection of crores of Andhrites.