Singur, Sep 1: Mamata Banerjee's strong stand on Singur softened after direct intervention from West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi's letter. Mamata has agreed to further talks but the agitation outside the Nano factory will continue. "Negotiations and the agitation can go together," she said.
In his letter, the Governor had urged Mamata to take part in negotiations. On Sunday, Aug 31 when Krishi Jami Raksha Committee (KJRC) delegation led by opposition leader Partha Chatterjee met the Governor, he again suggested that talks should start with the help of a 'neutral intermediary' and that farmers who had lost land could also participate in the talks. Mamata, however, said that KJRC would decide who would participate in the talks on behalf of the agitators. "We will nominate people who understand the problem. Anyone can't do this." Mamata has further ruled out his suggestion of an impartial mediator between the government and herself and insisted.
Mamata is coming to the table only with the condition of 400 acres land be returned to the farmers. "We want the 400-acres back, but if the Tatas want to negotiate on 10-20 acres, we can certainly talk as there are practical considerations which will have to be taken into account," she said.
Happy about the negotiation part which Mamata has acceeded to, Chief Minister Buddhadeb, however, wanted the negotiations to be held without the pre-condition of the return of 400 acres. The date of the meeting would be decided at the next meeting of the LF on Tuesday, Sep 2 Front chairman Biman Bose said.
“This is not a fight between the TC and the left front but between Bengal and the industry. I have never written so many letters as I have written to Mamata," says Buddhadeb.
Meanwhile, National Highway-2 near the project site remained out of bounds for vehicular traffic. Despite the Calcutta High Court order to clear the congestion, the Left Front has called another all party meeting to address the Singur logjam and Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattcharjee reiterated his call for an amicable settlement.
Now, we just have to wait and see how cleverly will Buddhadeb play out the card which Mamata has willingly offered. Or Mamata will walk away with the Trinamool Congress flying high up in Singur with a new target in cards.