A day after Urjit Patel resigned from the post of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor, the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) said on Monday that his leaving the post does not augur well and signals a dangerous trend, adding that his move has left the banking body ‘shocked and disturbed.’

It is worth mentioning that the AIBEA had demanded Patel’s resignation in February for owning up moral responsibility for the huge $1.8 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.

AIBEA General Secretary CH Venkatachalam said, “The resignation of RBI Governor Urjit Patel is quite shocking and disturbing. The reasons for his resignation are obvious and signal a dangerous trend that institutions like RBI are no longer independent.”

The government is bent on weakening the RBI and making it pliable to meet its own political needs. At a time when there is a need for a stronger and independent RBI, this vital institution is being intimidated by the central government, added Venkatachalam.

When asked about AIBEA’s earlier demand that Patel should quit, Venkatachalam told IANS, “We had demanded his resignation over inaction on Nirav Modi issue. This is different. He is being eased out. It is an attempt to weaken the RBI.”

In April, the AIBEA had again demanded Patel’s resignation on the grounds that the RBI was grossly negligent on several issues, including the cashless ATMs across the country.

In a statement at the time, Venkatachalam had said, “RBI has increasingly become irrelevant because they are becoming an appendage of the government, not enforcing their independent powers.

“In issue after issue, RBI is found wanting. It is high time that the present RBI Governor owns up and resigns or he should be removed. RBI is grossly negligent.”

(With IANS inputs)