Industry will be set up in Singur: Buddhadeb

Sunday, January 9, 2011

SINGUR - West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Sunday said if the people so wished, industry will come up in this rural belt, from where the Tatas were forced to pull out their Nano project following a stir against the acquisition of farmland.

“Come what may, we will set up industry in Singur if the people so wish. We are trying hard to set up the industry there as soon as possible,” said Bhattacharjee on his first visit over two years after Tata Motors announced Oct 3, 2008, that the world’s cheapest car would not roll out from here.

“I have received a letter from Shilpa Unnayan Committee (Industry and Development Committee) in Singur. If possible, I will set up an automobile car factory on the acquired land. We will raise our head again,” Bhattacharjee remarked.

The meeting, organised by the Hooghly district Left Front, was held near the now abandoned semi-finished plant that was slated to originally produce the Nano.

The automobile giant had to abandon their plans to bring out the car from the plant after two years of a sustained and often violent peasant agitation spearheaded by the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress. The agitators had demanded return of 400 acres out of the 997.11 acres acquired for the project to farmers from whom land was allegedly taken against their will.

Addressing a huge gathering here, Bhattacharjee requested the unwilling farmers to snap ties with the Trinamool Congress and said his government was trying hard to set up factory in the acquired land in Singur, about 40 km from Kolkata.

Agriculture was no more profitable in the area where the farmland was acquired for the project. “So there is no option other than to set up a factory there. A factory can only provide employment to the youths,” Bhattacharjee said.

Urging the youths not to “trust the railway minister’s (Mamata Banerjee’s) false promise” of providing them jobs in the railways, he said: “I am requesting the unwilling farmers to unite and raise their voice for industrialisation in Singur.”

He also gave a call to those “who had misunderstood the Left Front to come forward” and “say unanimously” that “the farmers want a factory” in the land acquired for the Nano plant.

Riding on the Singur agitation, the Trinamool - vanquished in the 2006 Assembly polls - saw its popularity surge as it won all the seats here in the rural body polls in 2008.

Singur marked a turnaround in the state’s politics, as Trinamool and its allies decimated the Left Front in the Lok Sabha polls of 2009.

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