Nano beneficial for Bengal's industry: Karat tells Opposition

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Kolkata, Sep 24 (UNI) As a solution to the Singur tangle continued to be elusives, the CPI(M) today said the prospect of Nano car rolling out from West Bengal was fast petering out.

''The more the project is getting delayed, the prospect of its coming up is becoming bleaker,'' party's General Secretary Prakash Karat told reporters at the Kolkata airport.

Mr Karat, who was here to participate in a programme of the Students Federation of India (SFI), the party's frontal wing, said the Nano project was very important for the state's industrialisation.

His comment, that pointed to a resigning mood of the party on the issue, came a day after West Bengal Industry Minister Nirupam Sen spoke in the same vein in Delhi to express his disappointment at the dead end the issue seemed to have reached with the Trinamool Congress-led opposition refusing to accept the Government's compensation and rehabilitation package for the Singur land losers and pitching fiercely for returning to the farmers 400 acres of land, including 300 acres from within the project area.

As Tata Motors kept work suspended since September two and announced its plant to relocate outside West Bengal, the situation worsened when unidentified miscreants attacked and injured two security guards of the Tata Motors' small car project after intruding the area on Monday night.

Though there has been no official confirmation, reports from Singur said truckloads of materials started rolling out from the project area since yesterday in what could be a signal of the Tatas beginning the process of pulling out.

According to informed sources, the attack on the securitymen could be the last straw for the Tatas who had stopped work since August 29 after a section of agitators, participating in Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's dharna, picketed in front of the plant's gate and prevented for hours the officers and employees of Tata Motors from leaving the place after their duty was over.

As there had also been reports of intimidation of the Tata Motors' employees, attempts to pull down the boundary wall of the project and off and on blockades on the road leading to the factory gate, Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata had warned on Aguust 22 that the company would not hesitate to quit and look for an alternative site if the situation did not improve.

As the Tatas asserted that giving up 300 acres from inside the project area was not possible since it would negate the whole project, the state Government agreed to part with 70 acres besides announcing an improved package for the farmers that promised higher payment and job assurances.

However, Ms Banerjee maintained that the Government must honour the 'agreement' reached with the opposition in presence of Governor Goplakrishna Gandhi on September seven that said about providing land to the farmers - ''the maximum from within the project area and the rest from outside''.

The Trinamool chief also made it clear at a party meeting yesterday that it did not matter to her even if the Tatas quit Bengal since she wanted to keep alive the land issue with an objective to claim the rural vote bank, largely comprising the peasantry, which so far overwhelmingly remained with the CPI(M)-led ruling Left Front.


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