September 22, 2008

CM says Tatas will leave Bengal if package not accepted

21 Sep, 2008, 2357 hrs IST, PTI

KOLKATA: Chances of a solution to Singur impasse on Sunday appeared to have receded further with West Bengal government warning for the first time that the Tatas would leave the state if there was further delay in accepting its rehabilitation package for farmers and Trinamool Congress threatening fresh agitation of its demand was not accepted. Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who a day earlier met the Governor to convey to him that he was open for talks with Trinamool Congress on the package that provides for 70 acres of land from within the Tata Motors car project area and compensation, appealed to the opposition parties to withdraw their agitation and accept it. "I appeal to opposition parties to accept the government's package on the land acquisition at Singur for the Tata Motors factory and withdraw the agitation. If there is any further delay, this project will leave West Bengal," he said in a statement. Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, however, gave the government a seven-day deadline to operationalise the September 7 agreement reached between her and Bhattacharjee in the presence of Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi or she would resume her suspended dharna outside the Tata Motors plant at Singur.

The Chief Minister's statement came in the backdrop of a number of states offering land and incentives to Tata Motors to set up the Nano project there. "Since the project will go out of West Bengal if there is further delay, therefore without any loss of time Tata Motors and ancilliary units should be given the opportunity to resume work at Singur," Bhattacharjee said. "Let all of us take the initiative to successfully implement this promising project in the interest of the state, the entire people of Singur and future generations," he said. The Trinamool Congress chief, speaking on Bhattacharjee's appeal to accept the package and withdraw the agitation, "if the Tatas leave, it is their affair. There is a mutual agreement with them (the government and Tatas)." She said it was the government which was not interested in solving the problem. "They are neither for the industry nor agriculture." Banerjee said she had met Gandhi prior to the agreement after he wrote to her stating that the state government had offered a land-based solution in and around the Nano project area. "Therefore, I had attended the meeting (on September 7) for a face-to-face meeting with the chief minister. But the government did not operationalise the agreement and turned 180 degrees and declared a rehabilitation package unilaterally," she said. Prior to resumption of dharna, TC plans a rally at Singur on September 26 after observing 'Singur Diwas' a day earlier. "We also know that this is the time of Ramzan and will be followed by Durga Puja. We will not inconvenience the people. But at the same time the movement will go on

Governor urges WB govt, TC to continue talks on Singur

20 Sep, 2008, 2240 hrs IST, PTI

KOLKATA: West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi on Saturday asked both the government and the Trinamool Congress to persevere with their discussions in the interest of a solution to the continuing Singur impasse at a meeting with Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. The governor, who met Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee yesterday, conveyed to the Chief Minister the salient responses of Mamata Banerjee to the package proposed by him on September 12, together with the governor's own assessment of the situation, a Raj Bhavan release said. The Chief Minister, who went to the Raj Bhavan for the meeting with the governor, reiterated the features of the government's new package. The release said, "at the same time the Chief Minister said that the door was open for further discussion on Banerjee's responses to the package. "The governor has urged both sides to persevere with their discussions in the interest of a solution which the people of the state desire and deserve," it said. Sources, however, said that Chief Minister told the governor that a solution to the Singur impasse was possible only if the Trinamool Congress accepted the government's newly-announced rehabilitation package.
Tata Singur impasse: West Bengal govt rules out further concessions
19 Sep, 2008, 2346 hrs IST, PTI

KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress Mamata Banerjee on Friday met West Bengal Governor Goaplkrishna Gandhi seeking his intervention for fresh talks to break the deadlock on Singur issue even as West Bengal government ruled out any further concession on a land-for-land agreement. Banerjee had an 80-minute meeting with Gandhi at the Raj Bhavan and later told reporters that her party wanted a solution in the interest of the people and the state" and asked the government to implement the September 7 agreement reached between her and Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for a land-for-land solution. Banerjee, who had earlier threatened to go on the warpath from any day after September 19, said after meeting the Governor that if necessary her party was prepared for more talks with the government. However, adopting a tough posture, the Chief Minister ruled out any further concession on the offer already made by it to return 70 acre from Tata Motors car plant complex to "unwilling" farmers and asked the TC to accept it saying only this can lead to a solution of the imbroglio. "A solution to the (Singur) problem is possible if the Opposition accepts the package which was publicised on September 14 on the basis of the talks between the government and the opposition in the presence of the honourable governor", Bhattacharjee said in a statement. "I hope good sense will prevail on the government and it will operationalise the decisions taken at the September 7 agreement signed in the presence of the Governor," Banerjee said. Referring to the agreement, she said "maximum land means it may be 400 acre or 410 acre or 392 acre. All those affected farmers who did not accept compensation should be returned their land." "According to records with us farmers who held 353 acres which was acquired for the project, besides the 50 acres belonging to bargadars, should be given back their land."

Singur: Mamata seeks central intervention

17 Sep, 2008, 2151 hrs IST, PTI

KOLKATA: With West Bengal government on Wednesday rejecting the party's demand for return of 300 acre from the Tata Motors project at Singur, Trinamool Congress accused it of violating the Constitution and demanded central intervention. Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee claimed the September 7 agreement on Singur, reached between the state government and her party in the presence of Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, had been "violated". ''If the state government does not give credence to the commitment made in the agreement in the presence of the constitutional head, then it is a case of violation of the Constitution and it is time that the Centre steps in'', she said. Rejecting chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's offer of return of 70 acre from within the project site at Singur to 'unwilling' landlosers, she charged the government had 'cheated' people by 'violating the agreement' and reiterated her demand for return of 400 acre. Countering the chief minister that the government had never agreed to return of 300 acre from within the project site and 100 acre from outside, she said ''this is totally untrue and an act of fraud on Singur. This government is visionless and has no idea about industry and agriculture.'' Claiming that the government had 'no moral right to continue in office' for flouting the Raj Bhavan agreement, she also claimed that the chief minister had 'also closed the door for further talks' by not waiting for the Governor to return from Delhi before announcing its fresh package of compensation.

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