Chettinad group chief open to a settlement with his father

In a bid to reach out to his father with whom he has a long running feud, Managing Director of Chettinad Cement and group head, M A M R Muthiah today said he is ready to resolve differences with his octogenarian father M A M Ramaswamy.

"I am ready to surrender to him and listen to him if his ideas are constructive... if his ideas are destructive I cannot listen, will you listen?" Muthiah said.

The offer of Muthiah, alias Ayyappan, the adopted son of Ramaswamy, a noted industrialist and former MP, comes days after an ugly episode at the Chettinad House, the latest in a series of bickerings between the father and adopted son duo.

Fourteen alleged henchmen of an assistant of Ramaswamy were arrested for locking a room of Muthiah at the palace, a sprawling 40,000 square feet heritage house at the upscale MRC Nagar here on May 24.

"I want a solution and I want to resolve differences with my father. I believe it will happen, we will wait and it will happen," he said.

"He (Ramaswamy) should understand the reality. He is 86 year old and on a wheel-chair. He cannot run the business or manage things. He needs to understand that management cannot be with him now at his (advanced) age," he said at a hurriedly convened press meet.

Last August, shareholders did not re-elect Ramaswamy as chairman of Chettinad Cements and instead offered him the position of Chairman Emeritus which he declined.

Stating that his father "has some anger" against him, Muthiah said this has to go in the first place.

On the grouse against him, he said "my father's major complaint is that I should follow his instructions..if it is right we can follow and if it is wrong can we follow?" he asked.

"Also, whether such instructions comes from him or from those around him with vested intersts (has to be seen), I cannot follow (such instructions from vested interests)," he said.

"Company will have to be shut if I do whatever he wants me to do," he said answering another question.

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