Why Anil Ambani controlled news agency IANS floated news of K V Kamath as new Finance Minister

Why did Anil Ambani-owned IANS plant the news about K V Kamath becoming the next Finance Minister?

Why did Anil Ambani-owned IANS plant the news about K V Kamath becoming the next Finance Minister?
Why did Anil Ambani-owned IANS plant the news about K V Kamath becoming the next Finance Minister?

The Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) is a small news agency that is controlled by the debt-ridden industrialist Anil Ambani. IANS has come out with a scoop that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may induct ICICI Bank promoter K V Kamath as the new Finance Minister. Many media have carried this IANS report on Kamath’s possible entry in Cabinet[1]. This news item has been creating waves in the powerful Bombay Club and Lutyen’s Delhi. This is not the first time that the Ambani-controlled IANS has planted such a speculative, pie-in-the-sky kind of news item.  So what gives?

It is an open secret that Anil Ambani doesn’t like Kamath who was the person who divvied up the Ambani assets between Anil and Mukesh in the 2006 separation. Major chunks of Reliance businesses went to Mukesh and Anil knew very well that Kamath had favoured his elder brother Mukesh.  It is believed that Mukesh got more than 70 percent when Reliance was divided. The story in the market is the biggies who had invested in Reliance from father Dhirubhai’s time preferred to put their assets with Mukesh and not with Anil. There is a widespread belief in India is that Dhirubhai was mentored by none other than the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Suffice to say that Kamath is always known as a pro-Mukesh Ambani man.

Many in the Bombay Club, the powerful industrialists’ club believe that Anil Ambani might be thinking Mukesh must be lobbying for Kamath’s entry in Modi’s Cabinet. “So, Anil planted this news to pre-empt Kamath’s chances by planting this information through his own news agency company IANS,” said a top industrialist. A similar observation was shared by many industrialists to PGurus. They pointed out that Kamath is facing a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the Chanda Kochhar case and Modi considering such a person as Minister is just a flight of fancy.

The CBI First Information Report (FIR) in January 2019 clearly says that the Kamath-headed committee passed all dubious loans that later turned out to be NPAs (Non-Performing Assets). The FIR lists out such dubious loans amounting to more than Rs.1500 crores and says that the role of Kamath needs to be investigated. Kamath is now mostly stationed in Beijing and heading the not-so–operative BRICS Bank (New Development Bank).  When CBI registered FIR against Chanda Kochhar on January 22, 2019, listing the role of Kamath in dubious loan allotment, the then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley lost his cool and blasted CBI through tweets from the United States, where he was undoing treatment for Cancer[2].  Now the  Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached Rs.600 crores-worth assets of Chanda Kochhar and husband Deepak Kochhar. That Narendra Modi will induct Kamath, who was the kingpin of Chanda Kochhar scams as Minister beggars belief. Moreover, Kamath is close to all the top Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi, P Chidambaram and NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar. At the same time, Kamat is also cozy with the Modi Government (at least till Jaitley was the FM) and that is why he was given BRICS Bank Chairmanship.

This is not the first time Anil Ambani’s news agency IANS has been involved in such news planting. Violating all Election Commission Rules, the IANS would publish an election prediction, which mostly turned to be utterly wrong. During the Lok Sabha elections of May 2019, IANS predicted a hung Parliament and surge of UPA and Third front. According to the flop prediction of IANS – the BJP-led NDA will be limited to 234 seats only and UPA will get 169 seats and other parties will get 140 seats. See the IANS flop prediction here[3]. Just last week IANS again violated Election Commission Rules by publishing a survey predicting victory for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Delhi Assembly elections[4].

IANS news agency was established in 1994 and has been under the control of the Anil Ambani’s Group for the past 15 years. This small-time agency was caught for many pro-Anil Ambani stories during Rafale controversies and was also caught for peddling fake stories. This news agency is owned by a firm known as IANS India Private Limited. At present the firm has two Directors – the first Director Rahul Sarin is also a Director of Anil Ambani’s Reliance General Insurance Company Limited.  The second Director is journalist Sandeep Bamzai, who looks after the Editorial activities of the news agency. Sandeep Bamzai is known for his proximity with Anil Ambani and recently started heading the IANS, after leaving the Deccan Chronicle Group and India Today.

References:

[1] KV Kamath, Swapan Dasgupta likely to be inducted in Modi govtJan 18, 2020, The Economic Times

[2] Why is Jaitley throwing tantrums at CBI for fixing Chanda Kochhar and other ICICI Bank officers? Jan 26, 2019, PGurus.com

[3] Did Anil Ambani’s news agency IANS illegally publish Lok Sabha election survey? Why is the Election Commission not taking action? May 14, 2019, PGurus.com

[4] AAP will win 59 seats, predicts IANS-CVoter Delhi poll surveyJan 7,2020, The Economic Times

Team PGurus

5 COMMENTS

  1. By settling that Mukesh got 70% of assets, Kamath did a yeomen service to India. So Anil had the opportunity to run only 30% of the Dirubhai accumulated assets to ground

  2. This is a typical case of how lutyens elites belong to both the bjp and congress and help each other when the need arises. If Mr. Kamath goes on to become FM, he wil indeed l be obliged to help his protege Ms. Kochar and other scamsters of UPA era who got such fraud loans from ICICI. If this is the reality of the situation that all scamsters will be eventually let off as they are equally close to the both the bjp and the congress elites ,why then conduct the farce of investigation ?

  3. If Modi want ICICI Bank KV Kamat as Finance Minister, better take P Chidambaram as Finance Minister of Modi. This Anil Ambani is an immature fellow and good to know that IANS news agency is owned by him.

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