BJD MPs meet Nirmala Sitharaman over Lord Jagannath’s money in Yes Bank

Odisha Politics

Bhubaneswar: Days after Odisha Government sought Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s intervention for early withdrawal of Puri Jagannath Temple’s Rs 545 crore deposited in the crisis-hit Yes Bank, a delegation of BJD MPs led by Prasanna Acharya on Wednesday met the Union Minister demanding safe return of the fund.

The delegation comprised Achyuta Samanta, Amar Patnaik and Sasmit Patra impressed upon the Union Finance Minister for quicker resolution as sentiments of crores of Jagannath devotees across the globe are involved.

The move comes amid mounting criticism and concern over the safety of the huge deposit of temple funds in the cash-strapped private bank.

Earlier, State Law Minister Pratap Jena informed that, two fixed deposits at YES Bank, totalling Rs 545 crore, will mature on March 16 and March 29. Recently, Rs 47 crore was withdrawn from the bank.

On March 8, State Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari wrote to Sitharaman seeking her intervention for early withdrawal for the fund.

“An amount of Rs 545 crore has been deposited in Yes Bank in the shape of TDRs (term deposits) that would mature in March. In the meantime, Yes Bank has been placed under moratorium by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and restrictions have been imposed on withdrawal of deposits. I request you to kindly issue necessary instruction to the RBI to allow Jagannath temple realise the deposits from Yes Bank in the interest of millions of devotees of Lord Jagannath,” Pujari wrote

On March 7 too, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration had written a similar letter to RBI’s regional branch in Bhubaneswar, urging it to facilitate smooth withdrawal of Rs 545 crore from YES Bank.

Opposition BJP and Congress continued to attack the Naveen Patnaik Government on the issue.

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