Mamata game to talk to Tatas on Nano…if they want

May 19th, 2009 - 12:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, May 19 (IANS) Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is game to talk to the Tatas if they want to speak to her on setting up the Nano plant in Singur, but said the auto major will have to return 400 acres of land acquired from farmers for the project.
“If the Tatas want to speak to us on Nano, I will talk. But they have to build the factory on 600 acres after returning 400 acres,” Banerjee said in an interactive programme on Bengali television channel Star Ananda Monday night.

Singur, a rural pocket 40 km from here in Hooghly district, turned into a battleground for about two-and-a-half years since May 2006 when the Left Front-ruled state government announced the world’s cheapest car would be built there.

Demanding return of 400 acres - of the 997.11 acres acquired - to farmers, the state’s principal opposition party Trinamoool Congress-led protesters laid siege on the plant. Finally, Tata Motors moved the plant to Gujarat’s Sanand last October.

Tata group chief Ratan Tata had then blamed Banerjee for the shift of the plant.

At the Nano launch, asked about his message for Banerjee, Tata had said “Good afternoon”.

“But I will again tell him good morning… He has bad mouthed us a lot. But it won’t be proper if we also use bad language,” Banerjee said.

The Trinamool-Congress-Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) combine bagged 26 Lok Sabha seats, reducing the Left Front to 15, of the 42 seats in the state. The Trinammol candidate won from Hooghly, which includes Singur.

Following the anti-farmland agitation, the Trinamool also made a clean sweep of the seats in the area during last year’s rural body polls.

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