Mistry slams Ratan Tata in email, SEBI wades in Shiv­pal speaks of ‘grand al­liance’ for UP elec­tions

SPEAK­ING UP Ousted chief says group had no choice but to write down $18bn

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Ram­surya Mami­denna and Su­veen Sinha let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com Cyrus Mistry leaves Bom­bay House on Wed­nes­day. Pankaj Jaiswal and M Tariq Khan let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

A fierce fight ap­peared to be brew­ing for con­trol of the $103-bil­lion Tata group with de­tails of ousted chair­man Cyrus Mistry’s email to the Tata Sons board tum­bling out on Wed­nes­day.

The email blames de­ci­sions taken by Mistry’s pre­de­ces­sor Ratan Tata — such as tak­ing the group global, stretch­ing its re­sources, and man­u­fac­tur­ing the world’s cheap­est car — that left the group with no choice but to write down $18 bil­lion.

Mistry paid a quiet visit to Bom­bay House, the group’s head­quar­tersinMum­bai,onWed­nes­day, avoid­ing tele­vi­sion cam­eras and re­porters wait­ing out­side.

But soon the de­tails of his email be­gan to emerge, which were ex­plo­sive com­pared to the guarded state­ments that fol­lowed Mistry’s sur­prise sack­ing.

The write­down, said Mistry, would be be­cause of the losses in five com­pa­nies: Tata Mo­tors, Tata Steel, In­dian Ho­tels, Tata Te­le­ser­vices and Tata Power.

This prompted the stock ex­changes — BSE and NSE — to ask the five com­pa­nies about the de­tails of their losses. And stock mar­kets reg­u­la­tor Sebi be­gan look­ing for a breach of cor­po­rate gov­er­nance and list­ing norms.

The email gave the reg­u­la­tor and the ex­changes enough cause for con­cern.

The rul­ing Sa­ma­jwadi Party (SP) in Ut­tar Pradesh, which is fight­ing a bit­ter fam­ily feud, floated on Wed­nes­day the idea of a “ma­ha­gath­band­han” or grand al­liance of po­lit­i­cal par­ties to col­lec­tively take on the BJP in next year’s as­sem­bly polls.

The idea has the ap­proval of party pa­tri­arch Mu­layam Singh Ya­dav, who had walked out of a sim­i­lar al­liance be­tween the Janata Dal (United) of Ni­tish Ku­mar, Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress in Bi­har ahead of elec­tions there in 2015.

The SP state unit chief, Shiv­pal Ya­dav, left for New Delhi on Wed­nes­day to in­vite lead­ers of JD(U), RJD and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) for the party’s sil­ver ju­bilee func­tion on Novem­ber 5 in Lucknow.

Be­sides the in­vi­ta­tion for the event, he is sup­posed to in­vite the lead­ers for a Bi­har­type “ma­ha­gath­band­han” that de­feated the BJP.

“Ne­taji [Mu­layam] has au­tho­rised me to hold dis­cus­sions with all Lo­hi­awadi, Cha­ran Singh­wadi and Gand­hi­wadi lead­ers and bring sec­u­lar par­ties on a plat­form to pre­vent com­mu­nal forces from com­ing to power in UP,” Shiv­pal said.

BHUSHAN KOYANDE

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