West Bengal government Monday hit out at the Tatas for moving the Supreme Court against its decision to take over the land of the now-abandoned Tata Motors car plant at Singur. Without naming the Tatas,state industries minister Partha Chatterjee said the organisation should reconcile itself to ground reality and facilitate return of land to unwilling farmers.
I wont take any names. Everybody knows who they are. They should think of the interests of the farmers and should see to it that they get their land back, Chatterjee said talking to The Indian Express on the sidelines of a MCCI seminar.
He also urged the industrialists to take a pledge not to go to court against the government if it takes away any land,which has been lying unused with them for a long time.
There is a campaign that the state government is not keen on setting up industries and that land is not available. I must assure you,we have at present 20,000 acres of land to offer for industries. So many industrial houses have been sitting on land that was allotted to them long back. They are not using them. I urge the members of the chambers of commerce to take a vow of not to go to court challenging the governments decision of taking the land back, he said.
The minister,however,chose to absolve the Tatas for the selection of land for the small car factory at Singur saying the selection of land and the way it was earmarked for industry by the previous Left Front government was wrong.
I have all the papers with me. I am baffled why that particular piece of land was chosen. It was the former Left Front government which made the mistake, Chatterjee said
Chatterjee said the TMC government had enacted an act to return unused land acquired at Singur to the farmers,which is now pending before the Supreme Court.
Though the matter is subjudice,but still I hope that those who were unwilling (to part with their land) should get back their land…We are hopeful that the court will do justice to the peoples voice, he added.
The Left Front government had earmarked 1,000 acres at Singur for the Nano car plant. The acquisition of the multi-crop land by the then government from unwilling farmers was the major reason for its poll debacle after a long stint of 34 years.