Basu welcomes Mamata’s decision for talks with Tata Motors

August 8th, 2008 - 3:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 8 (IANS) Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) patriarch Jyoti Basu Friday welcomed the decision of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for talks with the Tata Motors over the Singur land row. “It’s good that she’s ready for talks with the Tata Motors. I welcome her gesture,” Basu said after attending the CPI-M state secretariat meeting here.

He said: “We have no objection if she (Banerjee) wants to have dialogues and sort out the issue with the Tata Motors’ authority.”

Banerjee Thursday said she is “not averse” to the Tata Motors’ small car project in Singur, about 40 km from here, and was ready for a meeting with the automobile major on the project.

She said the 400 acres of land, acquired for developing ancillary plants for the Tata Motors project, should be returned to the farmers from whom the plots were forcibly taken.

“The factory cannot be rolled up and the Tatas are also not interested to move out of West Bengal. Now the state government is taking initiatives to arrange some dialogue over the issue,” Basu said.

Renewed agitation by the principal opposition force in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress, has threatened to delay the rollout of the world’s cheapest car, Nano, from Singur.

Unveiled in January at an auto exposition in New Delhi, the four-seater Nano promises a dealer price of Rs.100,000 ($2,500), about half the cost of the cheapest car in today’s market Maruti 800, a 25-year-old model from Maruti Suzuki.

The washout of the ruling communists in the local body elections in Singur over the issue of land seizure triggered a volley of fresh protests by those who lost their land, led by the Trinamool Congress.

As project workers were attacked and forced to flee, Tata Motors managing director Ravi Kant last week sounded a pullout threat from West Bengal, prompting the state government to beef up security around the plant.

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