Twisted Rumours

Updated: Apr 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
About a fortnight ago, Hindustan Lever Ltd was bombarded by queries from the print and electronic media on the possibility of resignation or an out-of-India transfer of its chairman M S ‘Vindy’ Banga.

Comments were sought from HLL over the objection of its auditors to certain financial transactions of the corporate. Rumours about the company changing the head of its finance department were also doing the rounds.

As the company’s corporate communications department, now headed by a former journalist, got into the fire fighting mode to dispel these ‘rumours’, it was quite perplexed over the reasons and source behind the whole issue.

Eavesdropper has now learnt that the rumours emanated from the stock market. Some foreign institutional investors were apparently eyeing the scrip to add to their portfolio, especially in view of the general offloading being done by the Unit Trust of India to generate liquidity.

The FIIs were obviously well aware of this and in a bid to buy the stock at a lower price, the rumour about Mr Banga and the auditors was set off in the market through some brokers.

It, of course, did not work out according to plan as the ‘story’ never saw the light of the day in any newspaper or television channel.

In any case, the auditors would not have signed the annual financial results already announced by the company had they harboured serious objections to certain transactions.

What’s In A Post
‘What’s in a name’ is an an old adage. In Tamilnadu, the question that’s now being asked frequently is ‘what’s in a post’.

The ruling AIADMK has amended the Tamilnadu Panchayati Raj Act to prevent any person from occupying two posts simultaneously. The target seems to be DMK stalwart M K Karunanidhi’s son, M K Stalin, who is a sitting MLA in the state assembly and also holds the post of Chennai Mayor.

While Stalin staged a ‘dharna’ and a fast in the state capital on Tuesday to protest against the proposed amendment, and consistently refers to Presidential discretion, nothing seems to have worked. The chief minister has shown little desire to climb down from her position. Will Amma now make another amendment barring father and son from holding the post of MLA simultaneously