The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Anil beta, let's talk: Mukesh
- Ambani brothers exchange letters

Mumbai, Jan. 21: Brother can battle brother. At the same time, brother can keep calling brother 'beta'.

'Beta, let us meet and discuss,' Mukesh Ambani told brother Anil over phone on Tuesday, revelations made today said, suggesting that the elder's overtures are being stonewalled by the younger.

It is now known that Mukesh suggested a meeting on Thursday, but Anil left for Delhi.

Parts of letters, emails and conversations exchanged between the two brothers found their way into the public domain on a day Reliance Industries announced an over 50 per cent jump in net profit.

If the weight of the corporate performance made Anil hold his silence, eloquence there was in plenty ' as was brotherly love ' in messages from Mukesh.

On January 18, Mukesh phoned Anil to say: 'Issues are accumulating. Beta, let us meet and discuss.'

Reliance sources said the 48-year-old elder brother is accustomed to calling Anil 'beta', though he is only a couple of years younger.

Although there were few outward signs of a rapprochement as the brothers came together at the Reliance board meeting, today's leaks indicate that the door is still open.

On November 30, 2004, less than a fortnight after Mukesh told a TV channel about there being 'ownership issues' in the family, he wrote to Anil: 'I have been trying to reach you. Left several messages, my only interest is that I should not do something that will harm Reliance Industries' interest.'

Anil preferred to keep silent, forcing Mukesh to write several times. On December 26, he wrote: 'I have been trying to reach out to you for (a) personal discussion to sort out misunderstanding, if any, and resolve all issues. I am pained that you have spurned all my repeated efforts.'

The two brothers reside in a building that's entirely occupied by the family, which includes their mother Kokilaben. Anil lives on the eighth floor and Mukesh on the ninth ' only letters appear to traverse the stairs linking the two at Sea Wind.

It is not clear if the leaks today are a signal of a reconciliation process getting under way. Speaking at a function in the evening, Anil said: 'Substantial issues relating to corporate governance, 'have been raised. And if those issues are addressed, some forward path can be thought of.'

In one message, Mukesh, who feels more comfortable speaking to his brother, said: 'You prefer writing letters.' Anil replied letters 'help us to express our thoughts more clearly'.

Anil wrote as late as yesterday: 'I am happy to meet you. Except let us have the circulated pre-agreed agenda. Meeting should be in the presence of family members.'

Friends said that for the past two-and-a-half years, the younger Ambani has been telling his brother that if a fair and equitable solution is proposed, 'Anil will not be found wanting in any effort to resolve the issues'.

'We can clap only with two hands, Mukeshbhai' is the final riposte from Anil.

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