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It's Reliance Eleven versus me, says Anil

Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: A board meeting of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) here on Wednesday took a dramatic turn when the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Anil Ambani, refused to sign the company's financial results. He said they did not contain relevant details, information and disclosures.

Airing his anguish over the Reliance imbroglio, Mr. Ambani said he was a lonely man on the board. He alleged that several people wanted him out of the company. "It's Reliance Eleven versus me," Mr. Ambani said before going to the meeting to discuss the financial results.

The RIL board has 12 members, including Mr. Anil Ambani. "I am in the minority as far as rewarding shareholders, transparency and governance [corporate] is concerned." However, "I still continue to serve on the company contrary to the designs of several people who do not want me in the company."

Mr. Ambani said that the board of directors had chosen to ignore all his suggestions at its meetings.

"I have made suggestions in the past, which the board has continued to ignore," in terms of distributing the treasury stock, issuing bonus shares, increasing the dividend.

"I was appointed by the body of the shareholders and I owe my ultimate responsibility to the three million shareholders of the company," said Mr. Ambani. "I have maintained in the past that the company is professionally run and we have great talent in the company. We have a very strong system and foundation. The shareholders of the company who stood by us for so many years have to be rewarded and this is their time for reward."

Mr. Ambani had opposed the share buyback programme by RIL and suggested that the company pay bonus and a higher dividend. He proposed that the buyback programme be closed and that shareholders be rewarded with much higher dividends.

He objected to the resolution appointing Ashok Misra independent director, stating that no proper process had been followed for the appointment. For, Mr. Misra's name was proposed by the Chairman and Managing Director, Mukesh Ambani, without any prior consultation, discussion or agreement with him. He also objected to the reappointment of H. S. Kohli, executive director, for a further term.

"Anil Ambani's objections and views were rejected without any discussion by the RIL board," a press release from RIL stated.

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