80 mn people will suffer, says West Bengal after Nano pullout

October 3rd, 2008 - 11:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Oct 3 (IANS) Lambasting the Trinamool Congress-led opposition for causing Tata Motors to pull out from West Bengal, the state government Friday said 80 million people in the state would suffer for the “irresponsible” and “destructive acts” of a few.”This was a prestigious project. We did not think even in our dreams that the Tatas will go. To gain political mileage, an opposition party and a few people played a destructive role. The opposition acted irresponsibly and destructively,” Industries Minister Nirupam Sen told reporters here.

“It is because of the opposition that this international project has gone out of the state,” Sen said after Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata announced the withdrawal of the project from the state.

“We can’t accept this. The people also can’t accept. Among the 13,000 landlosers, 11,000 had taken compensation cheques for the land they had given. They always nurtured high hopes about the project. They felt their future lay with the project,” he said.

The minister said the Nano project did not involve only one factory. “We have not lost the small car factory alone. We have also lost its 56 ancillary units.”

Sen said Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who had a 90-minute meeting with Tata earlier in the day, had requested the industrial captain to reconsider his decision to move out of the state. “But no industry can function in such a hostile atmosphere. They all want a congenial environment.”

Sen said Bhattacharjee told Tata to ignore the destructive activities of the opposition and promised administrative support if the company restarted work.

“We said the common people will also support them. But Tata said it was not possible to work for long with police protection,” he said.

“I don’t know who stands to gain politically with this project out of the state. But eight crore (80 million) people of the state, and particularly those in Singur, will suffer.”

“We have to see how we can compensate the loss suffered by the people.”

On the future path of the government, Sen said: “We have to move forward in our industrialisation efforts without harming agriculture.”

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