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Twitterati discuss links between French media, Pitroda

IANS  |  New Delhi 

The Social is trending on possible links between Frances daily and Sam Pitroda, the high-profile close to the Gandhi family.

It has been suggested that Pitroda, who many describe as the father of India's telecom revolution, has close business links with French billionaire Xavier Niel, one of the co-owners of

Niel's main business is telecom., which puts his wealth at $4.4 billion, says he owns 55 per cent of Ilaid, the parent company of Free Mobile, which is owned by him.

A series of social posts, which started on Saturday and then picked up momentum, suggested that Pitroda actually invested in Niel's company.

Ravi Kant, who uses the handle @LegalKant, claimed in a post: "So basically Le Monde's co-owner has links to and @lemondefr main French competitor @Le_Figaro is owned by Groupe Dassault Did @lemondefr share these facts in its vicious report that seems more suited for mouthpiece @NH_India."

In another post, he says: "Few are aware that Xavier Niel's firms gained from investments made by To what extent made those investments?"

He then asks: "Can Sam Pitroda deny any commercial links with "

goes on to claim on Twitter: "Such deep are the links between French Newspaper and #SamPitroda (of @RahulGandhi) that he was called as 'father of India's telecommunications network equipment'."

IANS contacted Pitroda on WhatsApp against the backdrop of Ravi Kant's tweets, and asked whether he had any links with Niel. Pitroda's response was: "Do not know who he is and have no business with him. I do not know where you got this from."

describes himself as lawyer-turned-labour economist, who graduated from the and was thereafter a PhD scholar at Sorbonne in Paris, researching on labour markets.

The trail on his posts got significant traction. One reason for that is the relevance of Pitroda. He left after the lost the 1989 Lok Sabha election and was no longer However, he continues to generate interest in

When the Congress-led UPA came to power, he headed the He is close to the Gandhis and is believed to be playing a role in the strategy in the Lok Sabha elections.

The posts by followed a report in pertaining to the Rafale deal which was denied by the Indian and French governments but was taken up by the Congress party.

said in a post: "It is a mischievous attempt by Le Monde to discredit #RafaleDeal which benefits the owner of its French

"Foreign media is meddling in Indian elections because it has deep liks (sic) to the family of "



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, April 14 2019. 20:26 IST