Singur: Protest against Tata Motors begins

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New Delhi, Aug 24: Stressing that prime concern was that of the farmers of Singur, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamta Banerjee started an indefinite agitation in Singur from Sunday, Aug 24. Banerjee said she would not budge from her stand of demanding the 400 acres of land taken for the TATA Nano project in Singur. "We want industry to come up, but we don't want farmers to be sacrificed," she added.

She also urged ruling Left Front partners RSP and Forward Bloc to join their indefinite agitation. "I would like RSP and Forward Bloc to join the agitation," she said, adding that 15 to 16 political parties and organisations would participate in the agitation.

Earlier, reacting to Ratan Tata's statement that the TATA Group could be thinking about exiting from the Nano project in the interest of the safety of its employees, Banerjee said, "We don't want anybody to move out of West Bengal, but at the same time, we will not bow to any kind of pressure."

On being asked if she was willing to talk to the Tatas, Banerjee said, "In principle, we would like Ratan Tata to concede to our demand for the return of 400 acres forcibly taken away from unwilling farmers."

She blamed the State Government for the crisis in Singur and said it had not yet made public the finer aspects of the land deal with the Tatas, despite several demands.

On Thursday, Aug 21 Commerce and Industries Minister of West Bengal Nirupam Sen and Ratan Tata held talks over TATA Motor's small car plant at Singur.

Sen apprised TATA on the recent talks between the State Government and the Opposition Trinamool Congress party to resolve the Singur land impasse.

TATA Motors started to construct its factory in Singur in January 2007 to make the world's cheapest car.

The NANO was unveiled by Ratan Tata in January this year, and is likely to hit the roads by October.

The project has become a test case for the ruling Communist Party in West Bengal, as some farmers claim that the former took their land against their will.

There have been regular protests in West Bengal over the last year over the acquisition of agriculture land for setting up industrial zones.


ANI

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