Buddhadeb invites Mamata to resolve Singur row

August 18th, 2008 - 9:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 18 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Monday sent a letter to the state’s main opposition Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, inviting her for talks on the Singur land row.”I’ve received a letter from Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. In that letter, he’s invited our party for a dialogue over the Singur issue,” Banerjee told reporters here at her south Kolkata residence.

She said: “Two of our representatives, Partha Chattopadhyay and Purnendu Basu, would attend the meeting with the state government on Aug 20.

“I’ll inform the state government through a letter that two of our representatives would participate in the meeting coming Wednesday.”

Earlier, the Trinamool chief had demanded that nearly 400 acres of land, acquired for developing ancillary units for the project, should be returned to the farmers.

Tata Motors has acquired 997.11 acres of land in West Bengal’s Singur, about 40 km from here, from the state government to set up its small car factory there.

The project has been mired in controversy as farmers’ groups, led by the Trinamool Congress, have alleged that the state government “forcibly acquired” their farmlands.

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

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

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

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