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PM’s media-man

All roads lead to trouble

When you are in a financial crisis, even your best friends stay away from you. This is especially true if such friends are politicians. Take the case of a powerful and well-known Mumbai-based media mogul, who owns a clutch of TV channels, including news channels, and a newspaper, and has to pay more than two billion dollars to his creditors. He is quite close to the Prime Minister, and top brass of RSS; his new channels praise Narendra Modi 24×7, and spit out stories in favour of the regime.

However, this hasn’t helped to sort out his financial problems. One day, the TV tycoon went to meet Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari to request for a bailout from his empire’s pending road contracts. The businessman had tried in vain to sell the half-complete projects to others to raise money to pay his debts. He waited in the private secretary’s room as Gadkari was preoccupied with other meetings. This is what Gadkari is learnt to have told the media baron on the intercom, “Why have you come here, you are close to the PM.

I am your friend, but please do one thing. Complete the pending projects, and then I will come to your house for a cup of tea.” Other sources contend that Modi is quite unhappy about the incomplete road projects, especially the ones that are part of the NHAI. So, the media baron is stuck. He needs the money to pay his creditors. And he cannot sell his road assets unless they are completed, for which he needs money. All roads for him, it seems, lead to financial disaster.

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