The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Try love mail: Reliance elders

Mumbai, Dec. 2: Distressed over the manner in which the battle between Brothers Ambani has spilled over into the public domain, Dhirubhai Ambani's closest associates on the board of flagship Reliance Industries have counselled Mukesh and Anil to work out a rapprochement between themselves.

Y.P. Trivedi, a senior board member of RIL and a tax expert whose advice was keenly sought by Dhirubhai Ambani, told a news channel that the board members favoured direct talks between the Ambani brothers.

'We (Reliance board members) do not find the mode of email suitable. Instead of email, it should be love mail. It is better to sit and talk,' Trivedi, one of the mediators in the spat between Mukesh and Anil, said.

Just a week ago, 73-year-old M.L. Bhakta, a legal eagle on the Reliance board, resigned on the ground of 'advancing age'.

The very next day, Mukesh, the Reliance chairman and managing director, strode into his law firm Kanga & Co and convinced him to reconsider his decision.

On being asked by reporters about the possibility of mediating between the two brothers, Bhakta said wistfully: 'I have played my role.'

Reliance had said that it is not open to the idea of mediation by outsiders. 'As the CMD has said, this is a matter that is in the private domain,' the company had said in response to a questionnaire from The Telegraph.

Still, members of the family have met a few religious leaders like Murari Bapu and Ramesh Oza, raising hopes of some sort of mediation. Industry captains like Rahul Bajaj have also met the brothers.

The directors of Reliance Industries have now suggested that the Ambani brothers sort out their differences by sitting across the table instead of shooting off emails to one another.

The problem is that the brothers barely speak to each other ' and despite a tentative handshake at a recent awards ceremony ' both have chosen to interact through close associates. In fact, Anil had said recently in his email to Reliance employees that his father had always warned him against the '3Cs ' chamchas, chelas and cronies'.

Both brothers were ensconced in their respective offices today. While Mukesh was shuttling between his Nariman Point and DAKC offices in Navi Mumbai, Anil was cooped up in the Ballard Estate office till late in the evening. The brothers reside on different floors of their skyscraper residence at Cuffe Parade.

'One brother should talk to another with love and understanding. Love and feelings cannot be communicated by dry mail. We have told them to sit and talk and, if there is any need, we are here and ready to help,' Trivedi said.

Trivedi was referring to the flurry of emails sent out by the two brothers after Mukesh conceded that there were 'ownership issues' in the private domain. Trivedi said there could have been a breakdown in communication between the brothers.

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