New Delhi: A man with USD 1 billion empire, a streamlined conglomerate of over 100 companies, a global repute, this is what industrialist Ratan Tata is known for.  

Ratan Tata retires as Chairman of Tata Group

Ratan Tata bids 'TATA' (pics)

On his 75th birthday, this charismatic persona will be no more steering India's largest corporate empire as he has chosen this day to step down as group’s chairman to play his second innings.

Ratan Tata, in his 21-year long corporate journey, has seen many ups and downs but wading out all the odds, this visionary man has contributed extensively in taking India to panoramic heights and establishing healthy corporate relations worldwide.

Alike every prominent face, Ratan Tata too was surrounded by big and small controversies.  Let’s have a look at the series of controversy that were the black days in his career graph.

1997 Tapes scandal

The controversy sparked off after an Indian Express journalist Ritu Sarin broke a story that involved the illegal tapping of the telephone calls of businessman Nusli Wadia and published the transcripts of the telephonic conversations he had with several political and industrial bigwigs including Keshub Mahindra, Field Marshal Sam Maneckshaw, then Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Jayant Malhoutra and Ratan Tata. The tapes showed that the Tata Tea was trying to get the Center’s intervention in their problems with the Assam Government.

Tata-ULFA links

The Assam government accused Tata Tea of providing aid to the banned militant outfit, United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

Controversy sparked off after it came into light that the Tata Tea group was providing financial assistance to ULFA member Pranati Deka who was in Mumbai for her delivery. It was alleged that the group had made all medical arrangements for Deka. But denying its engagement, the group clarified that it was unaware of identity of the woman and the help was part of a medical aid scheme for the people of Assam.

Mamata, Nano and Singur

Tata Motors Ltd planned to set up ambitious Nano factory in Singur district in West Bengal but the plan met with local resistance, which was further utilized by Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee to fuel her campaign against the state government in 2010. Banerjee obstructed Tatas dream project on the grounds of forcing people out of their land.

The major protests that spanned for around two years compelled Tatas to shift the project to Gujarat. Chief Minister Narendra Modi granted him huge subsidy for the factory, including free land.

Tatas incurred heavy loss as it had already made investments for the set up of the factory in Singur.

Radia Tapes

In 2010, Ratan Tata’s name surfaced in country’s major 2G spectrum scam after his tapped telephonic conversation with corporate lobbyist Niira Radia came into public domain.

His conversation, popularly known as Radia tapes were published in several magazines.

The Radia tapes also included controversial conversation with political and industrial bigwigs and journalists. Tata was one of the industrialists featured on the tapes.

Radia who was also interrogated in the 2G spectrum case, handled public relations for Tata group companies. Tata moved the Supreme Court filing defamation case against the publication for breaching his right to privacy.

Sonakshi Kishore/JPN

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