Much has been made about a conversation that Nira Radia had with me. This is just to put the record straight. The 13 minute conversation had nothing to do with the controversial 2G of A Raja. Nira called me as she said “to seek my expertise” on the Battle for Gas” between the two Ambani brothers. I merely told her that the earlier the brothers put an end to their private battle, the better it will be for the public good. I did not take sides. I did say that I knew both brothers but was equally critical of the tactics being adopted by each to run down the other. Nira also asked me about my son, who is a lawyer and is retained by the Anil Ambani group as their counsel. I however made it clear that my son Ankur was not appearing in the particular Gas case. Following is the transcript of the 13 minute conversation. It is proof, if indeed proof were needed, that I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of.
NR: Hi Prabhu
PC: Yaa tell me now
NR: Nahii nothing, I was just wanting to understand things from you. You always have a very good perspective.
PC: On What?
NR: On everything bhai, he he he he. Generally you have a good perspective of everything. I just wanted to know what is yr view on this great historic judgment.
PC: Which one, the Bombay one?
NR: The Bombay one which takes the family pecked above the national interest.
PC: You see when the brothers are involved, the nation also gets involved naa?
NR: Yaa, probably not a good thing naa. Not good for the nation.
PC: Not good for the nation, but the brothers don’t talk to each other. There is nobody who can force them to talk also
NR: Who tho ho gayi na Prabhu tum bhi janthe ho
PC: Maine koshiosh kiyi thi., Nahi hua. Maine kaha ho jayega.
NR: Nahi. I was speaking to him recently, in fact this morning
PC: (interrupts) is he back from wherever he had gone, Mukesh?
NR: . He is very much here, he has been here the whole week.
PC: He was abroad last week I think.
NR: No no no.
PC: Anyway, somebody told me that he is abroad.
NR: NONONO. He has been here the whole week. He is not due to travel till next week.
PC: because sometimes he responds. Abhi I have stopped calling him Because usko maine 15-20 din pehle message bheja tha. Then he never responds. Uske baad maine message nahi bheja. Before the judgement was coming I wanted to probe on him. [on the tape he seems to actually say "forewarn" and not "probe on" as Mr Chawla has transcribed-- Ed]
NR: Kya judgement uske khilaf aa rahaa hai?
PC: Haan, lekin itnaa arrogant hai na. uske saath kya kare? Uske arrogance, dono bhaiyyon ka samajh bhi nahi aatii mero ko
NR: Prabhu tell me one thing. Judgement is fixed, right?
PC: Dekho in this country, dono side ko fix karne kii capacity hain. Chhotta bhai mobile jyada hai. Paise kam kharch kartaa hai, kanjoos hai sabse jyada. But he is more mobile than the elder brother. Elder brother doesn’t want to go beyond what Dhiruibhai left behind with him. Men or people, whatever. You are getting what I am telling? He is totally depending on the people that Dhirubhai created. They were relevant at that point of time. Now they are not relevant. Anilbhai has developed new sources, new contacts , new way of thinking. Mukesh, Apnii wife ki ... thodaa jyaadaa dictate karti hai. Anil ki wife nahi karti hai. The way things are moving, Mukesh poor fellow is not able to get the right feedback because of insulation from various other sources. Now I know what he is doing on the Supreme Court front. Various things. Which is not the way to go about it. What he doing it is known to the rest of the world. This is not good. If he has to….because everything is fixed these days. Ab Supreme Court me reverse ho gaya, then he is finished for ever, yaa? If he doesn’t get a favourable response from Supreme Court, then he is finished, naa?
NR: But Prabhu ek baat bataon?
NR: Abhi tak Supreme Court ka, between you and me, kuchh finalise huaa nahin?
PC: Finalise kaa matlab kya hai? Bhai Murli Deora bhi jayega court mein. Prime Minister is also putting pressure on Murli Deoa to settle it. Because ultimately it is national loss naa, as you put it. Itna mehanga ho raha, ab 2-3 mahine mein 90 dollars ho jayegaa, if you are not able to take out gas from your own sources, then there is a problem, naa Country should not suffer because of these two brothers.
NR: That’s right. Which what Mukesh has told his brother very clearly. What is the issue? Anil …usne apne gas ke liye kabhin manaa nahin kiya. Usne kaha tera 28 mm sidhi ban tha hai. Agar NTPC baraa nahin leta tho thera who bhi ban tha hai. Yeh 2.34 who government ki price hai, mein us mein decide nahin karta huun as an operator. Uska point limited woh hai. Aapne MoU dekha? I don’t know whether you have seen it, but I will show it to you. Un mein aisa kich likha nahin hain.
PC: . MoU mein mein pataha nahin, maine dekha nahin, so I cant say, frankly speaking , and MoU mein, agar court ne order kiya, kuchh basis pe kiya hoga naa. Pata hua naa
NR. Nahin. Court kaa order mein, 328 pages mein I can give you any , I can tell you, wo pen drive use kiya hoghi na, wo jo telecom ka TD se judgement hua na, dual technology ka Vahanvati ne jo karvaya, Raja ne Dr Sarma ko TRAI chairman banaaya. I am guaranteeing same pen drive use kiyi hogi.
PC: hahaha (laughs)
NR: Mein tumko dono judgement (Mumbai) aamne saamne dikhaoongaa, tun dono padlo.
PC: Goolam Vahanvati is an old friend of mine. When I was editor of Indian Express, he was our counsel. Mera bahut acha dost hai puraanaa. Nusli wadia ke saath thaa pahle. He was a good friend of Nusli, I think even now he is with Nusli... [here this line was missing in the transcript sent by Mr Chawla: "Sharad Pawar also" -- Ed] But he is very close to Anil Ambani. Everybody knows about it. Appointment…..Anil Ambani, Nusli Wadia and our power minister, kya naam hai, Shinde, they all went for him. Bhardwaj never liked him. Bhardwaj would never have made him the attorney general. Ab ban gaya wo. See these brothers have to come to the conclusion themselves first. Kyonki agreement to hoga court mein ja karke Supreme Court ne order dono ko acceptable dediya to. That is one way of looking at it. Because basically this judgement will decide the future of both of them na? More of Mukeah than of Anil. Anil ko kyaa? Power plant hi shuru nahin kiya, kya karna gas se?
NR: Judgement 17 saal se likha nahin to gas tho dena chahiya kal se. Usko bolo chal tu le. Kya keraga uske saath? Kuch nahin karega.
PC: Aur le nahin sakta. Theek hai, bolo uttalo gas.
NR: . Aur paise do uske liye.
PC: Haan paise do, bech nahin saktaa kisi aur ko. Judgement… you cant sell it to anybody else na?
PC: Theek hai, then let Mukesh sell it wherever he wants to sell it. Ab Mukesh ka objective kya hai, I don’t know. You are not clear because …unka yahan Anand Jain to baahar ho gaya naa? He is out, naa?
NR: Nahi nahin, he is very much there. Again ye Anil ki baat hai. Mein usko itni baar khud dekh chukkii
PC: I don’t know, because people on both sides are haraamis, advisors.
NR: Nahin, ek baat bataauun tum ko. Anand Jain is very much there. Manoj Modi is very much there. Mukesh is very much there.
PC: Manoj Modi is little more professional
NR: He is very professional
PC: Anand Jain thoda politics karta hain
NR: But is matter mein Manoj Modi jyada hoga na?
PC: Jo bhi hain, but now Supreme Court mein aana hi hai case. Aur A nil Ambani ne caveat file kardii.
NR: Wo tho karega na
PC: But since you…you should should convey to Mukesh that the way he is going about the supreme Court is not the right way.
NR: Matlab, you mean he is going to the SC, you are saying he shouldn’t go to the SC?
PC: The way he going to thje SC, I wont tell you more than that. The people he is using are not the kind of people who can be trusted for keeping it to themselves. Bol dete hain, ab London mein baithke kuchh bhi bolo. Achchaa nahiin lagtaa naa, it gets back. London is not so far, it just a phone call away. Political system….People may be projecting he is close to Sonia, he is close to Rahul. Mukesh has got access, but he cant influence anybody. Collective jyadaa ho gaya naa. Kamalnath can decide one thing but he can be overruled by Pranab Mukherjee. So ye saara loose ends ko tighten karna hain na?
NR: Prabhu, mere ko tumhara London ka point catch nahiin kiyaa
PC: Matlab, he is trying to understand how to go into the Supreme Court.
NR: I don’t think so Prabhu, tumko yeh kisne bataya?
PC: . Chhodo na
NR: Nahiin seriously, mein tumse kyon chupaoongii?
PC: He has to go to appeal in Supreme Court or not finally?
NR: He will have to appeal in the Supreme Court, the question doesn’t arise
PC: If he is appealing to SC, he must be trying…the right people. Harish Salve will appear for him. Because he is an outstanding advocate. But he must be thinking if there any way, like, Anil must be using various ways, he must also be thinking if he can use various ways or not. Brothers apne apne tareeka dono lagayanega naa?
NR: Anil apna lagaa hogaa, apne logo ke through, DMK ke through , apne Chief Justice ke saath.
PC: No, Chief Justice Kerala ka hain. Par Mukesh bhii to kar rahaa hogaa naa? Mukeh jis tariike se approach kar rahaa hai is not the right way, that’s what I am saying.
NR: I understood what you are saying.
PC: Now yo u understand naa?
NR: Main baat karoongi thodi der mein, I will tell him to speak to you.
PC: I sent him messages, 10 bar messages bhejaa, he doesn’t reply. I don’t want to come into….because my son is a retainer for Anil. I don’t want to discuss with him at all. Lekin sun to letaa hoon naa, idhar udhar political logon se. But he not appearing for him. My son is not involved in this case at all.
NR: Your son, naa?
PC: Haan, he is not involved at all
PC: He doesn’t trust my son also, in this case. (laughs) Anil doesn’t trust my son (in this case).
NR: Your son is with whom?
PC: He is a retainer for Anil. He is running his own independent company. He is not with Ryan [?] any more. He is running his own solicitor firm. He was retained by various people. Anil’s mobile is one company which retains him. But in this case he is not involved. But idhar udhar se pick up tho karte hain na cheezen sab.
NR: Right right
PC: my information is through the legal sources. Once you tell him that Prabhu was saying something about you talking to people in London, he will understand.
NR: Chalo I will tell him
PC: Chhota Bhai bada haraami hain.
NR: Harami tho hain lekin har waqt harami panna last nahin karta na?
PC: Question is, when you are working in a system which is not clean, bhai tumhare ko nuksaan tho ho gaya na? Tho recovery karte raho apne aap. It is better to do it in a manner so that you are not the loser. Main kal jaa rahaa huuN Bombay. Ek baar usne kahaa thaa dinner pe aana ghar pe. He called, me. I was the only senior editor there. After that I tried to meet him but nahin mil paayaa. I went a couple of times to Bombay recently but he was not there. I have been trying to reach him par uske baad baat hii nahii huii.
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