Monday, August 3, 2009

GAS WARS!

Krishna Godavari Basin has become the unlikely battleground for a war that had initially started between two guys who were once upon a time brothers, just as Indians and Pakistanis were, but are now sworn enemies who are not willing to give even an inch to each other, just as India and Pakistan are not. It is well known that when brothers fight, others enjoy! In this case, they are getting richer too; the lawyers legally and others, well. Of late, a few more "stakeholders", who have perhaps realised that they too can get a tiny share of the enormous pie that is at stake, have also started making the right noises.

So, to amicably settle things once and for all and put an end to this mother of all gas wars, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora invited some of those involved for cocktails. With so much to gas about and so much of gas to talk about, it was not surprising that the evening turned out to be so gaseous. At the end of it, the two warring brothers almost patched up, and Deora had to step in quickly to prevent that national catastrophe from becoming a reality!

Here are some excerpts of what transpired during that imaginary evening:

Anil Ambani: Deora ji, I am shocked that you have joined Mukesh's camp. What he has given to you is no BIG deal. Had you spoken to me, you would understood what a BIG deal really means!

Deora: Anil, you don't have any gas at all. Why are you gassing about a BIG deal? We have seen what has happened to all your BIG plans. You talk BIG and deliver small!

Anil: Mukesh has tried every trick in the book and a few out of the book too, to deny me gas. He is going to make Rs 50,000 crores and the government just Rs 500 crores. Can't you see that he's is cheating the government!

Deora: Who is not?

Laloo Yadav: Arrey Anil Bhai, we are the government. So if we cheat the government, we are cheating ourselves only na! How can that be objectionable?

Deora: Why do you think Laloo ji says that Indian Railways is a "soney ki chidiya"?

Anil: And how much "gas" has Mukesh given to the "government" that you are talking about?

Mukesh Ambani: Anil, move back a couple of feet. Did you not hear the minister say in Parliament that the so-called agreement that you are talking about to steal my gas at a dirt cheap price is not an "arm's length" agreement?

Mulayam Yadav: Mukesh, you cannot sell gas to your own brother Anil at an exorbitant price. Do you know how much of prime land I made available to him to run the Dadri power plant on that gas, when I was CM? I know what BIG means when Anil utters the word!

Mukesh: You've already got your BIG whatever. So what's your problem now?

Sitaram Yechuri: Gas is a national asset. We cannot allow two brothers to divide it privately between them.

Deora: You guys must know a lot about gas. The Lok Sabha elections proved that the communists are just that and nothing more!

Yechuri: You better not gas too much about your "victory". In the last 10 years, your vote share has not gone up at all. Soon that balloon will also be pricked and you too will run out of gas!

Deora: That is why we are hoarding for that rainy day...for seven generations actually! The gas war between these two brothers has come as a massive blessing from heaven!

Yechuri: I wish we had joined the government last time and got a few ATM ministries like yours. That Karat fellow simply refused to see the juicy carrot; he thought he was the real thing - Karat!

Mulayam Yadav: Mukesh has no choice legally but to give gas for the Dadri power plant.

Deora: As of now the plant is just gas. When your friend builds it, I will give him gas to power it.

Anil: That is not acceptable. The gas is mine. I have BIG plans to sell it at a huge profit to others till the power plant comes up.

Deora: Ah, so you want to cheat the government too!

Laloo Yadav: Arre bhai, why don't you just sell those 7000 acres of prime land and forget about the gas? You will make more money than you will by building that plant. And you will not have to pay Ram Jethmalani and Deora and others through your nose too!

Mulayam Yadav: Mayawati is CM now. Anil may be BIG but Mayawati is by far the BIGGEST. Have you seen her many statues? Even they have her carrying a handbag. He will be left with only the gas that he produces.

Laloo Yadav: I didn't know that you produce gas?

Mulayam Yadav: He does. The same type that you do!

Mukesh: You guys can keep gassing. I am the only one who has the real gas, not the stinking variety that you all are releasing!

Yechuri: This is failed capitalism at its worst. That gas is not yours, Mukesh. It is a national asset. Which means that all of us are entitled to a share of the pie.

Laloo Yadav: Me too.

Deora: KG basin gas is indeed a national asset. But so is Reliance Industries and, therefore, Mukesh himself. So he is entitled to keep all that gas and sell it to whoever he wants to at a reasonable profit.

Anil: And who determines what is a reasonable profit, and how?

Deora: We do. After a reasonable consideration of many factors including whether the "consideration" is reasonable or not!

Anil: This is not fair. I will not allow it, come what may. I am also a BIG national asset.

Mukesh: Anil, who asked you to break away? Now you are only gassing that you are BIG. Had you stayed on, you would have been BIGGER and would have had no gas problems too!

Anil: Really?

Mukesh: Of course. You can still come back.

Anil: Are you sure Bade Bhai?

Deora: No, no. Both of you cannot get back together again. That will be disastrous.

Mukesh: Why?

Deora: Have India and Pakistan gotten back?

Anil: No. Why?

Deora: Like you, Pakistan has also become BIG by breaking away...it can at least make that boast, even though it is empty like yours.

Mukesh: But by coming back, it will become BIGGER!

Deora: Indeed. But Anil, the problem is that while that may happen, it is India that will become BIGGEST, not Pakistan!

Anil: How can I allow Mukesh to beat me, no matter how much BIGGER I may become by coming back? He's trying to trap me into a subordinate position again.

Deora: Absolutely. Don't give up Anil. Keep up the pressure. Keep doing corporate Kargils. One day you will be able to do a Sharm-el-Sheikh too!

Anil: Will you also put enough pressure on Mukesh, like the Americans are on the Indians?

Deora: You bet Anil. We will. That is our job. We are behind you. You just keep fighting the gas war! (Aside) If he doesn't do that, we will be left sniffing the useless gas that we produce.
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