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Six directors resign from Reliance Energy board

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Nov. 25

SIX directors of Reliance Energy Ltd today tendered their resignations from the board of the company, deepening the mystery surrounding the differences between the two Ambani brothers.

These six directors are believed to be close to Mr Anil Ambani, who is also Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Energy Ltd.

No reasons were cited for their sudden resignation.

The directors who have submitted their resignations are: Mr Satish Seth, Executive Vice-Chairman; Mr K.H. Mankad, Whole-time Director (finance); Mr S.C. Gupta, Whole-time Director (operations); Mr J.P. Chalasani, Whole-time Director (business development); Mr Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, Director; and Prof J. Ramachandran, Independent Director.

What surprised many Reliance observers is that majority of the directors who put in their papers were believed to be close to Mr Anil Ambani. Four of them are from the Reliance Industries fold while Prof Ramachandran is a faculty member of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

Mr Mankad has been a director of the company, even before Reliance took over BSES.

News of their resignation was communicated by Reliance Energy in a notice to the stock exchanges on Thursday afternoon. On Wednesday, the Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, Mr Mukesh Ambani, had persuaded Mr M.L. Bhakta, Director on the board of that company, to reconsider his resignation.

Mr Bhakta's offer to resign, supposedly on grounds of age, had sparked off rumours that there might be a further resignation of directors from Reliance Industries Ltd.

However, it was Reliance Energy which sprang the surprise, with half a dozen of its directors resigning at one go.

None of the directors who resigned were available for comment. However, one other director who continues to be on the board said these resignations cannot be their independent decision. This is the fall out of the on-going developments in the group, he said.

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