Demand to have a Sikh as head of P&SB Bank

New Delhi, Jan 24 (PTI) Former National Commission forMinorities chief Tarlochan Singh today asked the governmentnot to deviate from the practice of reserving the top post ofPunjab and Sind Bank for Sikhs after media reported that thePrime Minister''s Office had raised questions in this regard.

"I request you kindly not to deviate from the promise madeby Indira Gandhi and allow to have a suitable Sikh fromcentral services to head the P&SB Bank," he wrote to PrimeMinister Manmohan Singh.

A section of the media reported that the PMO has raisedquestions over the practice of reserving the Chairman andManaging Director''s post for Sikhs despite the bank''snationalisation three decades ago.

He said then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had assuredSikhs in 1980 that the government will always appoint a Sikhas the CMD to keep the "Sikh character" of the bank after thecommunity protested its nationalisation.

"For the last 30 years, this assurance has fully beenhonoured. When there was no suitable Sikh available in thebanking cadre, I as Chairman of NCM and MP proposed to thesuccessive Union Finance Ministers to have an appropriate IASofficer to head the bank.

"I am thankful to Jaswant Singh, P Chidambaram and PranabMukherjee who were very kind to agree to continue the existingpractise," he said.

He said the government was committed to helping theminorities and "here is a case which is highly sentimental tothe Sikh community." PTI SJY

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