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Amruta Fadnavis responds on Axis bank, says will not back down

MUMBAI: In her first comments on the issue of the Maharashtra government planning to shift salaried accounts of its employees from Axis Bank, Amruta Fadnavis, the wife of former CM Devendra Fadnavis who is a senior executive with Axis Bank said that she won’t back down in her criticism of the Shiv Sena-led government.

Amruta said, “The accounts were bagged by Axis bank much before I married Devendra.. during the tenure of the Congress-NCP regime. Private banks are also Indian banks and provide superior technological services. The government should think rationally. By doing this(shifting the accounts), they (the government) are trying to target Devendra and me,”

“Devendra never targeted people. This is against freedom of speech and both I and Devendra will not be silenced. If I feel there is something wrong or some decision impacts the people wrongly, then I will raise the issue,” Amruta told ET on Friday after being told that the state’s move to shift accounts.

Amruta Fadnavis and the shiv Sena have been publicly engaged in a twitter exchange. Amruta Fadnavis, who is vice president and corporate head (west India) at Axis Bank, has been criticising the Sena on Twitter. On December 8, she tweeted, “Hypocrisy is a disease! Get well soon @ShivSena! Tree cutting — at your convenience or allowing tree cutting only when you earn commission.”

Amruta’s tweet came in response to the controversy around cutting of trees in Aarey and Aurangabad. The Sena had opposed the cutting of trees for the Mumbai Metro 3 carshed project in Aarey in Mumbai however there were reports that the Sena which is in power in the Aurangabad Municipal corporation had decided to cut trees to build a memorial for the Bal Thackeray Memorial.

Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi had responded to Amruta saying that the charges were, ‘wrong’ and there were no plans to cut trees for the memorial.

On December 22, responding to her husband’s tweet criticising Rahul Gandhi (the Congress leader had said, “I am not Savarkar”), Amruta Fadnavis tweeted: “One cannot be a Thackeray just by putting … a Thackeray surname.”

Shiv Sainiks then had held a demonstration against Amruta’s tweet, who then tweeted — tagging chief minister Uddhav Thackeray — “You don’t lead people by hitting people over head, that’s assault — not leadership.”

Days after the spat the Thane Municipal Corporation controlled by the Shiv Sena on Friday announced that it would be shifting its accounts from Axis bank to a nationalized bank. The Mumbai Municipal Corporation Mayor Kishori Pednekar also said that she would holding meetings with civic officials on Monday to discuss the move on shifting Axis accounts to a nationalized bank. The Shiv Sena run State government is itself planning to move accounts of the Maharashtra police that is currently with the Axis bank.

Keshav Upadhye, BJP’s spokesperson for Maharashtra, called the plan to shift bank accounts from Axis Bank “political vengeance”. “Where are all the people who used to talk about freedom of speech? A person does not have the freedom to state his or her opinion without repercussions?”

Chaturvedi said that there was nothing wrong in the move to change the accounts from Axis to other banks. “It was the “policy for governments to operate accounts in nationalised banks. It was the the Devendra Fadnavis-run BJP government that changed this practice”.

Source: Economic Times