The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mukesh leaves it to mother

Mumbai, Dec. 11: Mukesh Ambani has asked mother Kokilaben to adjudicate on the contentious ownership issues that have sparked a full-fledged war between the two scions of the Rs 95,000 crore empire that Dhirubhai had built.

The move appeared to raise hopes of a settlement as brother Anil had earlier asked the matriarch to decide his role within the group.

But there was some conflicting talk as well. Anil's camp accused Mukesh of trying to force a division of assets and seeking a legal separation. Claiming that the talks between the two groups had collapsed, Anil's coven claimed Mukesh was trying to force the younger sibling out of Reliance Industries, the flagship company.

Mukesh's coterie riposted that far from seeking a split, he had asked his mother to decide on the contentious issues. 'In fact, Mukesh has left all decisions to his mother,' a source said. They claimed Kokilaben would work out a solution 'as soon as possible'.

Both brothers were attending functions as chief patrons on the eventful day. Mukesh was in Gandhinagar, wearing ceremonial robes at the first convocation of the Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology. He announced plans for a network of Infocomm educational institutions, beginning with Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir.

Anil presided over a book-release function in Mumbai. Giving him company were wife Tina and family guru Ramesh Oza. Referring to his 'respected elder brother, Mukesh', his two sisters and mother, he recalled what his father used to say: 'At every adversity there is an opportunity. If you can dream it, you can do it.'

Sources close to Anil said he has been discussing matters internally with Mukesh to find an amicable solution to thorny issues. He had apparently suggested that family unity should not be compromised and they work together in Reliance Industries with Mukesh as chairman and managing director and Anil as vice-chairman and MD.

The sources also indicated that Anil sought a direct relationship between the two without any role for 'sycophants' along with a 60:40 division of 'management responsibilities' in the flagship company between the chairman and vice-chairman.

The sources said Mukesh rejected this formula. One of the proposals Anil mooted was one of the brothers look after oil, gas and petrochemicals while the other could take care of refining and marketing. Alternatively, one of them could handle oil, gas, refining and marketing leaving the other to manage petrochemicals.

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