Mumbai Police on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with HDFC Bank, transferring the salary accounts of around 50,000 of its personnel from Axis Bank.
While the police maintained that the accounts had been shifted over better facilities and on merits, the state had already indicated the shifting of accounts in December 2019, after Amruta Fadnavis, wife of former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Axis Bank's vice president–corporate head (west India), had been involved in a war of words with the Shiv Sena and had criticised Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
In 2015, Mumbai Police had inked a three-year MoU with Axis Bank for salary accounts, which was extended for another two years. Brushing aside any speculation or politics behind the decision, Joint Commissioner of Police (Administration) Rajkumar Vhatkar said, "After the existing MoU ended on July 31, we called for presentations from nationalised and private banks.
After reviewing all the presentations, HDFC was finalised, as it promised better facilities than others. The MoU was signed on merits,” he said Some key facilities offered by the bank are zero balance account, free debit and credit cards, five-zero balance accounts for families of police personnel, with a Rs 11 lakh insurance cover, Rs 10 lakh insurance cover for natural death or death due to Covid-19, Rs 1 crore insurance cover for accidental deaths and up to Rs 90 lakh in cases of accidental disability.
In case of accidental deaths of policemen, two children will get Rs 10 lakh for education. In December 2019, a controversy had erupted over an utterance of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi -- “My name is not Rahul Savarkar”.
Reportedly, Amruta Fadnavis had then taunted Thackeray, saying one could not be a ‘Thackeray’ just by putting Thackeray after their name. Within hours, the state finance department had hinted it would be shifting the salary accounts of over two lakh police personnel from the bank.