23 October, 2020

When The Drill Seeps Water

YSR, Naidu, Ambani, Eenadu. How gas forced the Reliance hand in AP media.

When The Drill Seeps Water

The origins of Reliance’s complicated takeover of Network 18 in 2014 can be traced back to Andhra Pradesh, home to Ramoji Rao’s sprawling Eenadu newspaper and television network—and gas off the east coast in the Krishna-Godavari basin, whose pricing remains a hot-button issue, whether it is the UPA or NDA in power.

Back in 2006, in the course of an interview to this magazine, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, the late Congress leader of the undivided Andhra Pradesh, had stated what the Supreme Court of India later underlined in its landmark judgement: “Gas is a natural resource, a property of the nation, not of a private company.”

As leader of the Opposition during Chan­d­rababu Naidu’s earlier term as chief minister, YSR reminded Outlook that he had raised the issue of auction of the K-G basin blocks. Even the Gujarat government, then headed by Narendra Modi, had taken part in the bidding, via the...



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