Buddhadeb calls all-party meet on Singur, Trinamool to abstain

September 29th, 2008 - 11:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiKolkata, Sep 29 (IANS) Four weeks after Tata Motors suspended work at its Singur factory, the West Bengal government Monday called an all-party meeting Tuesday to find a solution to the row but main opposition Trinamool Congress said it would boycott the parleys.Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee told newspersons here that the meeting would be held at the state secretariat Writers Buildings, amidst signals over the last few days that the world’s least expensive car Nano might not roll out of the Tata’s Singur factory.

However, the importance of the meeting was greatly diluted with the Trinamool announcing it would abstain. The Congress said it would attend the deliberations.

Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee said her party, spearheading the agitation against acquisition of land for thecar plant, would not attend any such event till the government abided by the Sep 7 agreement inked with the opposition in presence of governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi.

The pact had said: “The government has taken the decision to respond to the demand of those farmers who have not received compensation, by means of land to be provided to the maximum within the project area and the rest in adjacent areas as early as possible.”

Bhattacharjee later said the government could identify only 70 acres for distribution among landlosers, which was much less then the 400 acres demanded by the Trinamool Congress. Trinamool has led protesting farmers’ body Krishijami Jiban Jibija Raksha Committee (KJJRC), and Bhattacharjee announced a compensation package - a combination of land, money and promise of jobs. But the KJJRC rejected it.

“Democratic tradition and constitutional propriety demands that this agreement be implemented. Unless the government does so, we see no point in attending such fruitless meetings,” Banerjee said.

“If after implementing the Sep 7 agreement, the government calls us for talks to discuss some technical points, then we will be game,” she said.

Meanwhile, Banerjee announced she would meet United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi in Delhi Tuesday.

“On Tuesday, I will meet Sonia Gandhi. She heads the ruling UPA. I will apprise her of the latest situation,” said the Trinamool leader.

Banerjee launched a stinging attack on the West Bengal Congress, a day after state president Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said Singur would be ruined if Tata Motors shifted the Nano project away from the area.

“There are some brokers. They are now very active. Let them attend Tuesday’s meeting,” Banerjee told reporters.

On the other hand, Dasmunsi met Governor Gandhi at Raj Bhavan and urged him to continue his initiatives to find a way out of the stalemate.

“As a responsible political party, we will attend the meeting and articulate our views,” said Dasmunsi.

The project to roll out the Nano, priced at Rs.100,000 ($2,250), has faced tough resistance since its inception 28 months ago over land acquisition.

Asking for the return of 400 acres the government allegedly acquired forcibly from farmers, protesters laid siege to the factory from Aug 24, a move that prompted the company to suspend operations on the security issue since Sep 2.

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