Vijay Mallya’s flee to England has hurt big banks as they’re saddled with loans than they possibly will never recover. It’s made lots of common Indians very angry. But the whole sorry saga has claimed an unexpected victim – Manmohan Singh from Khajuria Naviram village in Uttar Pradesh.
Singh was named the guarantor of Mallya’s loans in Bank of Baroda’s records, and with Mallya having fled the country, the bank has gone ahead and frozen his account. Manmohan Singh, for his part, has never heard of Mallya.
“I do not understand how this happened. I do not know anything about Mallya and have never visited Mumbai in my life. Because the bank froze my accounts, I can’t avail any government-sponsored scheme. I was forced to sell my entire wheat crop to private traders at very low prices. I could not get MSP because payment for that is directly made to the bank account, which in my case is frozen,” Singh said, talking to TOI.
Singh owns eight acres of land and had led an uneventful life until the curious mix-up with Mallya. He had two bank accounts with the Bank of Baroda’s local branch. But with his accounts now frozen, for his forthcoming paddy crop, Singh can’t avail any subsidies provided by agriculture and plant protection departments on the purchase of high-quality paddy seeds, insecticides and other agricultural inputs. Moreover, all the other banks in the area have refused to allow him to open a new account.
Singh says that he had sent a letter to BoB’s Mumbai regional office clarifying his position but the office is still keeping mum over his grievance. The bank has also not clarified to him how his name came up in connection with Mallya in the first place.