Government-Opposition talks welcome if project not stalled:Sen

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Kolkata, Aug 22 (UNI) The West Bengal government was ready to discuss all ''pros and cons,'' relating to Tata's small car factory, with the Opposition provided the project was allowed to come up at Singur, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirupam Sen said today.

Interacting with the Chambers of Commerce here, the Minister said '' We are eager to have talks with the Opposition on the issue under legal framework if movements are not made to resist the project.'' Mr Sen also expressed concern over Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata's threatening to pull out the project because of the present situation and observed that the case was pending before Supreme Court and the unit would not be set up if the Apex Court did not approve it.

Referring to Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee's demand for returning 400 acres of land to farmers, quoting Supreme Court's previous rulings on land acquisition cases, he said the Apex Court had maintained that lands acquired for public purposes could not be returned.

Taking exception to the Opposition's charge of not making public the treaty with Tatas, Mr Sen claimed that he had informed the State Assembly about the project in details on June 15 last year after having the agreement in March, 2007.

Shortly after the interactive session, Mr Sen left for Singur to attend a meeting near the project site.

The meeting would be attended by MP (Srirampore) Santashree Chatterjee, MP (Arambagh) Anil Basu and other CPI (M) district leaders, sources informed.

On August 20, Leader of the Opposition Partha Chatterjee, who held talks with Mr Sen in presence of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at the state Secretariat, stuck to the party's stand for returning 400 acre of Singur land to "unwilling" farmers, while the Government had refused to give in.

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