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Rediff.com  » Business » PMO plays down Mukesh-PM meeting

PMO plays down Mukesh-PM meeting

Last updated on: July 15, 2008 14:35 IST

A day after Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the CPI(M) on Tuesday said the Prime Minister's Office should not become a 'conciliation office' for warring corporates, who were 'openly lobbying' for their interests ahead of the trust vote on July 22.

The PMO, meanwhile, play down Monday's meeting between Dr Singh and Mukesh Ambani, saying that it was a routine matter.

"The Prime Minister's Office should not become the conciliation office for warring corporates however desperate the ruling party may be to retain power," CPI(M) Polit Bureau said in a strongly-worded statement in New Delhi.

The PMO said that the prime minister meets with business leaders all the time and nothing more should be read into Dr Singh's meeting with Mukesh Ambani.

The PMO replied that the prime minister will never interfere in corporate matters. It may be noted that the two Ambani siblings -- Mukesh and Anil -- have fallen out of each other and have been constantly warring.

'The corporate houses are openly in the fray to lobby their interests in the run up to the confidence vote,' the statement said, noting that a 'dangerous precedent' has been set with the prime minister 'being asked to personally intervene to mediate between the Ambani brothers.'

Mukesh Ambani on Monday met the prime minister in the wake of Samajawadi Party leader Amar Singh raising a number of issues, including the demand for levy of so-called windfall profit tax on private firms.

Amar Singh, considered close to Mukesh's younger brother Anil, has also reportedly sought that the prime minister should intervene to bring peace between the Ambanis.

A Correspondent