What does the mysterious helicopter crash that killed one of India’s most popular politicians have to do with White House economic czar Larry Summers? Read on…
First, the crash: one of India’s most popular politicians, who heads the state of Andhra Pradesh, just died in a mysterious helicopter crash. What’s eerie is that the dead politician recently went public attacking India’s most powerful oligarch family, the Ambanis, threatening to take away their giant offshore gas concessions. Meanwhile the Ambani brothers, Mukesh (the world’s 7th richest man) and Anil (the world’s 34 richest) are battling each other in a blood feud that’s taking the whole country down with them–that’s not a hornet’s nest you’d want to stick your fingers into, even if you’re the governor of a huge Indian province. The Ambani brothers’ feud peaked in May when Anil’s helicopter was found to have been sabotaged just before takeoff (read about it here). Anil strongly hinted he suspected Mukesh, but no one will ever know who did it, because the mechanic who discovered the dirt and gravel in Anil Ambani’s helicopter gear box was hit by a train two days later in what was initially ruled as a “suicide,” but which later was ruled murder.
So why would an Ambani have anything to do with the mysterious helicopter crash of Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy? Just speculatin’ on a hypothesis, as the police chief says in Miller’s Crossing, and here’s why:
Just over a month ago, as the Ambani brothers’ insane internecine war over offshore gas deposits dragged on with no end in sight, Reddy publicly demanded that his state, Andhra Pradesh, take a share of the gas deposits for itself:
Even as the two Ambani brothers are locked in a legal battle over supply and price of gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin, the Andhra Pradesh government has sought its “due share” of the hydrocarbon asset.
He even attacked the brothers’ mother, who brokered the deal dividing up India’s gas between her feuding sons:
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy on Sunday said that the settlement of the gas dispute between the Ambani brothers could not be left to their mother Kokilaben and the Centre must play a decisive role, for which he has written to the Prime Minister.
“The dispute over sharing of gas is not an issue to be settled by (the) mother (Kokilaben). It is for the government to decide who should get the gas and also at what price,” Reddy said on the sidelines of a function here.
Ah, Y.S., you shouldn’ta attacked their mother. Next thing you know…Reddy’s deady.
Oh, and by the way, don’t forget this one little fun-fact: Larry Summers, the guy appointed by Obama to run America’s economy, worked for Mukesh Ambani right up until he took his White House job. We’re in good hands, folks.
Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.
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