Sourav Ganguly bats for Nano, sees state’s future in it (Third Lead)

September 2nd, 2008 - 11:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 2 (IANS) Former Indian cricket skipper Sourav Ganguly, a local hero, Tuesday batted for the Tata Nano factory at West Bengal’s Singur, saying the project would revolutionise industrial prospects in the state.”The starting of the Nano project will be a beginning of an era in West Bengal which will completely revolutionise the prospect of the state and the future of the youth,” Ganguly said in an unusual statement.

“The brand Tatas will turn Singur into another Jamshedpur. So, let us support the cause of Tatas and the industry to create the future for all of us,” he said.

“If this project goes elsewhere, it will be a dark spot for the state. It is the time for us to stand up (for it),” said Ganguly, an employee of Tata Steel.

Ganguly said: “As a resident of West Bengal and a part of the Tata Group since 1994, I feel industry is the future of the state. … So let us support the cause of the Tatas and the industry to make the future for all of us.”

He is known for his closeness to the ruling Left Front major Communist Party of India-Marxist, particularly to State Municipal Affairs and Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharya.

Ganguly has served as the brand ambassador of the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), to help the Left Front’s industrialisation efforts.

The stand-off between the West Bengal government and Trinamool Congress-led agitators over the return of 400 acres of land acquired for the Rs.15-billion ($375 million) Nano car project has forced the automobile firm to suspend operations since Friday and evacuate 800-odd engineers and executives.

The additional land was acquired by the West Bengal government to facilitate the setting up of ancillary units adjacent to the 637 acres of land leased to the auto major for manufacturing the Rs.100,000 ($2,500) Nano car, the world’s cheapest.

Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata Aug 22 threatened to pull out of Singur if the agitation by farmers, who refused to take the compensation, continued.

A number of states are vying for the Nano project. The states which have extended an offer to the Tatas include Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana.

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