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Congress sees red over Patiala co-op bank’s blue turban move
Aman Sood
Tribune News Service

Colour controversy
Central Cooperative Bank MD Harinderpal Singh, son of senior SAD leader Prem Singh Chandumajra, has made blue turban compulsory for the staff
The Congress sees in it a political conspiracy to publicise the Akali colour ahead of the LS polls
The MD says the move is aimed at giving staff a corporate look

Patiala, January 24
Colour trouble has hit branches of the Central Cooperative Bank in Patiala. A recent decision by the bank to make blue turbans compulsory for the staff has invited flak from the Congress, which claims it’s a political move to publicise the Akali colour ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The bank’s managing director is the son of a senior Shriomani Akali Dal (SAD) leader. MD Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra had two days ago asked his staff to follow a dress code — a blue turban with a blazer — for five days a week. For the remaining two days, the employees have been told to sport sky blue turbans. The new decision will come into effect from April 1, 2014 in all branches of Patiala. Harinderpal, who is the son of former Patiala MP and SAD member Prem Singh Chandumajra, said the new policy is aimed at giving the bank a more corporate and professional look. “A few days ago, I visited the Rakhra village branch. I saw an employee wearing a kurta pyjama on duty and decided along with other senior officials to formulate a dress code for the staff,” he said.

“The blue turban has been always associated with Akalis. I am a Central Cooperative Bank employee but a Congress supporter. A dress code is a good idea but the colour of the turban should not be forced upon us,” said an official, pleading anonymity. The Congress has come down heavily on the SAD against the move. The cooperative bank is not the office of the SAD. They (Akalis) cannot turn a bank into a political institution. The employees should be free to wear any turban on their choice,” said senior Congress leader Laal Singh. On being asked, if the ‘blue turban dress code’ would be made compulsory in all branches of the bank across the state, the MD said: “Everyone in the bank is happy about it. There would be nothing wrong if follow this dress code in other branches too.”

“Many other banks in the country have been associated with the blue colour. It’s not a political decision”, he said.

In Chandigarh, Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal said: “It’s neither a government policy nor a party policy to ask employees to wear blue turbans. Let me examine the whole issue.”

Pointing to Chandumajra stanging alongside at Punjab Raj Bhawan, he said: “Chandumajra himself is not wearing a blue turban, he is wearing a yellow one.”





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