West Bengal government, Tatas in secret deal: Mamata

September 26th, 2008 - 8:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Singur, Sep 26 (IANS) Amidst signals of an imminent pullout by Tata Motors from here, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Friday alleged there was a clandestine deal between the auto major and the West Bengal government.Referring to the Sep 7 agreement inked between the government and the opposition in the presence of state Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Banerjee said: “As per the accord, only the vendors were supposed to stop work. We never sought halt to the work at the mother plant. The government should answer why the factory is still closed.”

Addressing a rally here, she said: “There seems to be an unholy alliance between the Tatas and the CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist). The two seem to have entered into clandestine deals. Lot of money is involved.”

Banerjee squarely blamed West Bengal’s ruling communists for the deadlock, saying they had failed to create a congenial atmosphere needed for industrialisation.

According to her, the CPI-M neither wanted agriculture to flourish nor industries to thrive. “Had they loved agriculture or industry they would not have gone back on the September 7 agreement. They also don’t want farmers to get back the land forcibly taken for the project.”

On speculation that Tata Motors could be on its way out of the state, she said the government should take the blame as it had failed to create a congenial atmosphere.

“They have destroyed all semblance of a congenial atmosphere. They have neither a land map, nor a land management policy, nor a land bank. They wanted to set up the factory by imposing prohibitory orders, and by using the police. Now the Tatas have also told them they cannot work under such conditions.

“You cannot have a factory if there is unrest. Industries have to be set up with a humane touch,” Banerjee said in an aggressive speech near the venue where she had staged her 15-day siege demanding return of 400 acres farmland acquired for the project.

She predicted that the Left Front would be ousted in the next elections and said: “If we had been in power in the state, this problem would have been solved in a day. This government doesn’t know how to work.”

Banerjee also ridiculed those saying that if the Tata Motors pull out of West Bengal, then not only would Singur be denied a major industrialisation project, but landowners would also not get back the land.

“Tata is not the only industrialist wanting to set up shop. Several others have lined up. Farmers will get back land, agricultural labourers will get compensation, and industry will also be set up,” she said.

Banerjee said she never wanted Tata Motors to leave, but if it was bent on moving out, then it was a “problem between the company and the government”.

“We will continue our fight,” she added.

Heavy security arrangements were made for the rally, with the deployment of over 3,000 police personnel, as the CPI-M had also brought out a procession supporting the Nano project.

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