When Former PM Shastri Took Rs 5,000 Loan From PNB, And His Family Paid It Back

The story, tweeted by Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor, has been widely shared on social media and has left many dazed about the incredible honesty of an iconic leader who was austere to a fault.

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When Former PM Shastri Took Rs 5,000 Loan From PNB, And His Family Paid It Back

The loan was taken in 1965 by then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri for a Fiat car. (File)

Highlights

  1. Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri took a loan in 1965 for a Fiat car
  2. Mr Shastri's loan was approved by Punjab National Bank the same day
  3. The 1964 Fiat is on display at the Lal Bahadur Shastri memorial in Delhi
Half a century before it discovered a Rs 11,400 crore scam by its officials to help billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, Punjab National Bank (PNB) loaned Rs 5,000 to the country's most powerful man and got it all back - even though he died before he could repay it.

The loan was taken in 1965 by then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri for a Fiat car, the Economic Times reported today.

When the Shastris learnt that a new car would cost Rs 12,000, far more than the Rs 7,000 they had in the bank, the Prime Minister applied for a loan and got it the same day.

Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor was among those who shared the story, which left many dazed about the incredible honesty of an iconic leader who was austere to a fault.
When Mr Shastri's loan was approved quickly, he told the bank that the common man should have the same privilege.

Mr Shastri died in office in 1966, while on a visit to Tashkent to sign a peace agreement that ended the India-Pakistan war. When the bank wrote to his wife Lalita Shastri for the Rs 5,000 he owed, she promised to pay them back in instalments from her family pension. She repaid every rupee, says the report.

In response to tweets, the former prime minister's grandson Adarsh Shastri confirmed the story.

Comments
The cream-coloured car, a 1964 model Fiat, is on display at the Lal Bahadur Shastri memorial in Delhi.

PNB was founded in 1894. Today, it is at the centre of India's biggest bank fraud.

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