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Home > Business > PTI > Report

Anil wins; Anand Jain out of IPCL

June 18, 2005 13:31 IST

The white flag that emerged from the settlement between warring Ambani brothers over the Reliance empire ownership had stains of blood with Anand Jain, the bete noire of younger brother Anil and a close aide of Mukesh, getting the marching orders from the IPCL board.

Within hours of mother Kokilaben announcing a settlement between the two brothers signalling the end of seven-month long open warfare with sniping attacks on each other's aides, Jain was asked to step down.

Jain, who was the RIL nominee for the board of directors of IPCL, stepped down as director despite the petrochemical company going to Mukesh as part of the settlement.

The sniping attack against Jain was started early this year by none other than Anil, who was the vice-chairman of IPCL. Anil had taken a strong stand against Jain accusing him of conspiring to divide the family.

The "conspiracy" may have been prophetic as the family today stood divided but Anil in January this year had written to Mukesh saying, "It is below my dignity to be on the IPCL board with Jain".

Describing Jain as "modern day Shakuni", the younger brother had asked Mukesh to keep in mind their late father Dhirubhai's caution asking them to guard against "three Cs - Chamchas, Chelas and Cronies".

Anil Ambani had also alleged that Jain's official dealings with Reliance were "improper and contrary to ethical norms" and said this had made a huge impact on the business image and reputation of Reliance group companies.

Accusing Jain of "spearheading a campaign of character assassination against him", the younger sibling shot off another letter asking Mukesh "to choose between your brother Anil and friend Anand Jain".

Fluxed by the silence of elder brother, Anil then took the extreme step of disassociating himself from IPCL by tendering his resignation from the IPCL board.

The resignation had its own share of drama. The IPCL had first asked Anil to reconsider the resignation but a couple of months later Anil's name suddenly went missing from the list of board of directors displayed in the company's website.

Later, Mukesh camp went on the back foot saying Anil's resignation was considered by the IPCL board in its January 20 meeting but this raised more questions about the modalities of the process than answering them.

However, Jain, busy preparing for his daughter's wedding in Goa, refused to comment on the developments even as both camps accepted that he played a key role on behalf of Mukesh in the settlement process.

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