Ambanis patrol power corridors as SC ruling approaches

With eyes firmly on the first of September, when the Supreme Court will start hearing the gas price dispute between Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd and Anil Ambani's Reliance Natural Resources Ltd, the two rival brothers continue to prowl New Delhi's power corridors.

After Anil, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, power minister Sushilkumar Shinde, and reportedly a few other powers-that-be on Wednesday, it was elder brother Mukesh's turn to do the rounds on Thursday.

Mukesh in his turn met Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar, and T K A Nair, principal secretary in the prime minister's office, according to reports. Of course, there was no official comment from any of the parties concerned.

Prime Minister Singh, meanwhile, has set up a panel with four cabinet ministers, along with various officials, to continuously monitor the government's stand on the increasingly messy dispute, according to an unattributed report in The Economic Times this morning.

The panel, comprising finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, law minister Veerappa Moily, petroleum minister Murli Deora and power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, is expected to co-ordinate government's response in the court case.

Deora had met the prime minister on Wednesday and said it was a ``satisfying'' meeting. ``The Prime Minister fully supported the stand of the petroleum ministry that has been taken in the interest of the people of the country,'' Deora said.