Modi advises Buddhadeb, Mamata on industrialisation

October 12th, 2008 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Narendra ModiKolkata, Oct 12 (IANS) Riding high after the relocation of the Nano project to his state, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Sunday advised his West Bengal counterpart Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and opposition leader Mamata Banerjee on the need for continuous political dialogue and keeping industrialisation above politics.
In separate letters to Bhattacharjee and Trinamool Congress chief Banerjee, Modi described the continuity in the Gujarat government’s policies on industrialisation and the presence of a responsible opposition as the main reasons for the Tata Motors’ small car factory finding a second home in his state after being forced to shut operations in West Bengal’s Singur.

In the letter to Bhattacharjee, Modi said West Bengal failed to hold on to the project as the state lacked the “work culture” needed for the success of such a venture.

“People across the country know your role in West Bengal’s industrialisation efforts. But still your state failed to retain the Nano project. The reality is, despite your efforts, the state is yet to develop the work culture needed for the Nano,” he said.

Modi, a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has been the favourite whipping boy of the country’s Leftists, who have described him as a “butcher” and held him responsible for the death of Muslims during the 2002 communal riots in the western state.

Bhattacharjee is a leading figure of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which leads the Left in parliament.

In a snub to the Left over the anti-Muslim tag given to him, Modi said the villagers of Sanand had ushered in early Diwali by bursting crackers after land was allotted to the Tatas there. “The sarpanch (village head) there is a Muslim. He has expressed his gratitude to me and my government.”

Claiming that his state had always maintained continuity in its industrialisation and developmental policies, Modi attacked the CPI-M, saying: “We don’t change such policies at the dictates of the party. We have always stood for industry. So, people find us credible. On the contrary, the Marxists had one time taken an extreme anti-industry stance.”

“Now, the same party is talking of industries. But your party and administration is not whole-heartedly by your side on these issues,” said Modi in the letter carried by the vernacular daily Anandabazar Patrika.

In an indirect reference to the dispute in West Bengal over acquiring farmland for the Nano project, Modi said: “The land we gave the Tatas within only two days has already been acquired. So, there is no controversy over giving agricultural land.”

Modi went on to add: “Since West Bengal mostly has agricultural land, which is lot more than what we have in Gujarat, there is a strong need to continue the dialogue process with the opposition to solve acquisition-related problems. We talk to the opposition in our state throughout the year.”

In the letter to Banerjee, Modi asked her to shun negative agitations. “Mamataji, we have lot to learn from you. You have lot of calibre. Come, let us desist from negative agitations and work for building India. It is difficult to build something. But one can break that in a minute.”


Modi wrote: “I can tell you, people are now tired of ‘Nahin Chalega’ (obstructionist) brand of politics. In Gujarat, the opposition parties never oppose for opposition’s sake. So, I feel there is need to change your style of politics.”

Calling Banerjee his younger sister, Modi said: “Don’t become an ultra-left to take on the leftists. But become a rightist and build up a political alternative in the state. Voice the demand for more industries, more roads and more jobs,” he added.

Tata Motors on Oct 3 announced it was pulling out its Nano project from the troubled Singur region and blamed Banerjee for the “regretful” decision.

The auto major’s decision came 32 days after it decided to suspend operations in the Singur factory fearing for security of its employees who were manhandled and threatened by Trinamool Congress-led protesters, demanding the return of 400 acres out of the total 997.11 acres taken for the project.

Since its inception in May 2006, the project to roll out the Rs.100,000 ($2,250) car encountered resistance from the Trinamool Congress-led farmers, protesting the “illegal” acquisition of farmland.

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