Contrary to Modi, Shastri’s widow repaid a PNB loan of Rs 5,000 PNB from her pension
The Hush Post: Diamond merchant Nirav Modi may have been able to flee after duping Punjab National Bank (PNB) of Rs 11,300 crore but once the same bank was so ruthless that it did not forego Rs 5000 loan given to India’s former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and the late leader’s widow had to repay the loan from her pension, ET reported on Wednesday.
The daily reported that best known for his austere lifestyle, Shastri’s widow had to sell her pension to repay a Rs 5,000 car loan from the bank that is now trying to recover its dues from Modi.
The story goes back to 1964. The former PM’s family was looking for a drive. After enquiries by VS Venkatraman, the special assistant to the PM, the Shastris came to know that a new Fiat would cost them around Rs 12,000. The family, however, had only Rs 7,000 in the bank, the daily reported.
Shastri applied for a Rs 5,000 loan which was sanctioned the same day.
But soon tragedy struck the family. Shastri passed away on January 11, 1966 in Tashkent where he had gone to sign the declaration to settle the 1965 war between India and Pakistan. The loan remained unpaid.
“It was repaid by my mother from the pension she received after my father’s death,” Anil reportedly told the daily. The car in question, a cream coloured 1964 model Fiat with the impressive number, DLE 6, is now an essential part of the Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial at 1, Motilal Nehru Marg, in Delhi. Founded in 1894, PNB was inspired by the idea to start a swadeshi bank during the British Raj.