SPELLING FURTHER trouble for Dinesh Bambhaniya or Dinesh Patel, a close aide of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel, Dena Bank on Monday sealed his cotton ginning factory near Jetpur for allegedly failing to repay a loan of Rs16.28 crore. However, Bambhaniya alleged the bank had acted at the behest of the state government and that he would take legal action against the bank.
Officials of Dena Bank sealed the factory of Shrinathji Cotex Private Limited near Jetpur on National Highway 27 in the presence of Jetpur mamlatdar Jitendra Bhoraniya, executive magistrate Nikhil Mehta and police officials. Bambhaniya is one of the two directors of Srinathji Cotex and the sealing of the factory premises comes months after Dena Bank took physical possession of the office of the company in Rajkot city in May this year. “The company had not been servicing its loan worth Rs16.28 crore for the last few years and the total outstanding amount with interest was well beyond Rs18 crore. As per the process, therefore, we sealed the factory premises,” Ketan Desai, chief manager at Rajkot zonal office of Dena Bank, said.
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However Bambhaniya, who is married to late BJP leader and former minister Savji Korat’s niece, said the move was politically motivated. “The bank has acted at the behest of the state government as I am associated with Hardik Patel and the movement seeking reservation for Patidars. The bank declared me a defaulter after I joined Hardik Patel. I was given a notice of just one day to repay the loan. This was not possible at all. Nor is it legal to demand repayment of cash credit within a day. I will take legal action against the bank,” said Bambhaniya.
However, Dena Bank officials refuted Bambhniya’s claim. “He knew very well that we had initiated action in May this year and his claim, therefore, of one-day notice is false. We had restructured his debt in July last year but to no avail. The term loan and cash credit outstanding is around Rs 20 crore and the factory is closed. The sealing was delayed till Monday as mamladar could not allot time,” Ardhendu Mani Tripathi, legal manager at Rajkot zonal office of Dena Bank, said. Bank officials said that Bambhaniya had opened a loan account with Dena Bank in 2012.
Incidentally, a cotton ginning factory owner had given an application against Bambhaniya to Damnagar police in Amreli district two weeks ago, alleging the latter was not paying up Rs 52 lakh against sale of cotton bales a few years ago. Damnagar police are conducting an inquiry into the matter.
Bambhaniya, a nephew of former Jasdan MLA Bhikhabhai Bambhaniya, alleged that he had been getting threat calls over his association with Hardik and the reservation movement.