In an embarrassment to two local leaders, the State Bank of Patiala (SBoP) on Tuesday declared Punjab Mahila Congress chief Lalita Grewal and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jimmi Kalia as bank defaulters.
Kalia is a relative of Jalandhar Cantonment MLA Manoranjan Kalia.
The Ambedkar Chowk branch of the bank has put up the photographs of Grewal and Kalia, along with four others, in the defaulters’ list on the notice board.
According to bank officials, Grewal failed to repay the car loan of Rs 1 lakh she had taken five years ago despite the repeated notices served to her in the recent past. Kalia was declared defaulter in a case where he was the guarantor of a loan of Rs 72 lakh taken by his friend’s firm, HGS trading company.
Reacting to the move, Kalia said, “I was surprised at the bank’s action as I was only the guarantor of the company that took the loan. I was served notices and even replied to a few. I will visit the bank on Wednesday and seek details from them as to why my photograph was put up on the defaulters’ list.”
Grewal regretted the move saying she would repay the amount on Wednesday. “I failed to repay the loan as I was busy with political activities in the past few months. I have been regular in repaying the loan when I was not the Mahila Congress chief. The bank officials have tried to sully my image by putting up my photograph on the notice board,” she said.
Talking about the move, a senior bank official said, “Whatever we have done is as per the Reserve Bank of India guidelines. It’s a process that we follow to make recoveries. There is a provision to declare the guarantor as defaulter too.”