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Gone Too Soon

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Gopinath Munde, Union minister for rural development and a popular backward class leader from Maharasthra, died on 3 June of multiple internal injuries sustained in a road accident in Delhi. Munde, 64, who made his entry into the Union Cabinet for the first time recently, was expected to lead the Bharatiya Janata Party campaign as its chief ministerial candidate in Maharashtra. A former deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, he was the late Pramod Mahajan’s brother-in-law.

No Homecoming Yet
Subrata Roy isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. The Supreme Court has dismissed the Sahara group chief’s plea to shift him from Delhi’s Tihar jail to house arrest in Lucknow. It has, however, relaxed conditions on the sale of assets to raise money for his release. Sahara has been allowed to sell immovable properties as well as approach its creditor, Bank of China, for selling equity in three offshore hotels.  The court has asked the Securities and Exchange Board of India to release title deeds of the properties to enable their sale.

Sweetening The Bid
Mohamed bin Hammam, a former Asian Football Confederation president and ex-FIFA vice-president, allegedly used slush funds to pay more than $5 million to top football officials to win support for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid. He is said to have paid $200,000 to the presidents of 30 African football associations and transferred $1.6 million  to the former vice-president of FIFA, Jack Warner, with $450,000 sent before the World Cup vote in 2010. These allegations come less than two weeks before the start of the World Cup in Brazil.

No Picnic for Pinckney
A district court in Andhra Pradesh has sent chairman and CEO of Amway India, William S. Pinckney, to 14-day judicial custody, after he was arrested in connection with a criminal case registered against the US-based direct selling company for illegal money circulation. Pinckney, who was detained last year under similar circumstances by Kerala Police, has been booked under the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act based on a complaint filed in December 2013.

The Exodus
Infosys president and board member B. G. Srinivas, who was considered a contender for the CEO’s post at the $8.2-billion IT giant, has resigned, marking the eleventh top-level exit at the company since N.R. Narayana Murthy’s return to the helm. The long-time insider is said to have been upset as some of his juniors were evaluated for the top post. Following his resignation, another senior Infosys official, Prasad Thrikutam, also quit and is believed to have joined Dell.

Big Bucks
Tata Consultancy Services chief N. Chandrasekaran received a near 60 per cent hike in annual pay, making him the highest paid CEO in India’s $118-billion information technology industry. He received Rs 18.68 crore as compensation in 2013-14, compared with Rs 11.7 crore the previous year. The pay does not include dividends from the 88,528 shares he owns in the company.

New State
Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao, has been sworn in as the first chief minister of Telangana, India’s 29th state, created by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh. The 60-year-old was administered the oath of office along with 11 ministers, including his son K.T. Rama Rao, by E.S.L. Narasimhan, governor of Telangana and the residual Andhra Pradesh.

Smart Play
Former Bharti Airtel CEO Sanjay Kapoor has been named chairman of India’s second largest smartphone maker Micromax. Kapoor, who resigned from Airtel in May last year, also joined the promoter group of the company. Micromax recently roped in Samsung India’s mobile and IT chief Vineet Taneja as CEO and senior Airtel executive Badal Bagri as CFO.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 30-06-2014)