Radia Tapes: (20090529_130300) Venkat (Executive Secretary to Ratan Tata), Radia
Duration: 00:03:28; Aspect Ratio: 1.250:1; Lightness: 0.041; Volume: 0.154; Cuts per Minute: 2.018; Words per Minute: 184.530
This conversation shows the anxiety of Ratan Tata not to associate the name of Tata with The Electoral Trust which has been formed to donate funds to political parties, though it is evident from this conversation that all the funds into this Trust comes from Tata Companies. In fact Mamta Banerjee’s, the Union Minister for Railways and Trinamul Congress leader’s refusal to accept the funds from this Trust triggers this anxiety. It is evident from this conversation that except for CPI(M) , Trinamul Congress and BSP, all other parties having strength in the Lok Sabha have accepted funds from this Trust. But Ratan Tata’s anxiety not to publicise Tatas name is intriguing.
Venkat: Hi, Morning
Radia: Morning(wearily), I am going to call you actually. You know about this electoral thing.
Venkat: Ha, you—
Radia: Sorry you go ahead.
Venkat: no, you know on this electoral trusts reports and all that came in
Venkat: Boss had called Dinesh Vyas and told him to issue clarifications saying, it is not a Tata Electoral trust,
Radia: We did that.
Venkat: OK, he says let Dinesh Vyas issue the statement.
Radia: well, the word because, I will tell you what it is,
Radia: because it is called Tata-
Radia: you are going like, it looks like, we have said it, if you see the Business Standard, it has carried our statement. It says it is an independent trust.
Venkat: No it is not a Tata electoral trust, it is not even called a Tata Electoral Trust.
Radia: (slightly weary) what is it called?
Venkat: It is called The Electoral Trust, that's all.
Radia: So where did the word - the letter, they have even published the letter, in—in Bengal.
Venkat: No— ummm (pause)—- you have a copy of the letter?
Radia: The letter is on my email, I will just forward it to you. Its come in Prathidin.
Radia: The thing is— I will send it you just now. The thing is Venkat, there are two things here.
Radia: One, If they were sending it, our heads up, it's a Tata thing right?
Radia: Its still considered a Tata thing, this Dinesh—I know Tatas contribute to it, right?
Radia: Ok, now the thing is that the moment that happens, he, the moment that's done,
Radia: he needs to give us a heads up. You know last night—
Venkat: Dinesh has whatever(mild laugh)—
Radia: He is independent, is he?
Venkat: Yeah, he is independent, quite independent. All the three trustees are independent.
Venkat: How they allocate the proportion, we don't know.
Venkat: just, of course, for our info, they tell us what it is. They tell Subedar for info. But they do their own.
Venkat: All the three trustees are, Mr.(Ardeshir) Dubash (Industrialist), Mr.Dinesh(Vyas, Supreme Court Advocate) and Shireen Bharucha(Social Worker), who has nothing to do with—
Radia: Ok, the thing is that if the letter said—
Venkat: It's not even Tata Electoral Trust also. It's called The Electoral Trust.
Radia: Ok, if now that's the case, I am now wondering how the word Tata came in,
Radia: unless its mentioned in the letter, that I will get it now.
Venkat: anyway, people know that Dinesh Vyas is—
Venkat: this thing(voice trails off), Mr.A.D.Dubash, Shireen Bharucha and Dinesh, they are the trustees.
Venkat: Of course the contribution to the trust comes from the Tata group companies.
Venkat: But how it is distributed, to whom it is distributed, its is entirely upto the trustees to distribute it based on the rules.
Radia: Yeah. You know where it started from? She(Mamta Banerjee) gave an interview to StarAnanda yesterday.
Radia: And she showed the letter and the cheque.
Venkat: Just forward me the letter, I will just have a look.
Radia: Yes, the letter appeared in her paper, Prathidin, this morning, front page—it's in every Bengali paper.
Radia: And it's just that you know, the fact that—
Radia: one I didn't know that you give it to them after an election is over. So—
Venkat: They do it in two parts.
Venkat: One before the election based on number of seats and after the election based on the number of seats they won—
Radia: Which is fair enough.
Venkat: That's how DMK also got. DMK didn't get in the first this thing.
Venkat: After the election DMK also got based on the number of seats. They accepted. Everybody accepted, except CPM and, BSP did not accept.
Venkat: All others accepted. They've got Sonia Gandhi also accepted.
Venkat: Everybody has accepted.
Radia: So maybe when he has to issue the statement, he has to say that every other political party has accepted, except for the three.
Venkat: Yeah, except whomsoever who have not accepted. He should say, we distribute it to everybody, not only—
(Call ends aprubtly).