Mamata's minister contradicts her, says land taken once can't be returned

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Mamata's minister contradicts her
Durgapur (West Bengal), Oct 30: Two days after Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Sisir Adhikari took on his own party for allegedly sheltering extortionists [read the story here], West Bengal Labour Minister Moloy Ghatak dropped another bomb at a rally here on Wednesday. Ghatak, who was earlier the state's agriculture minister but was dropped by Chief Minister and party chief Mamata Banerjee after losing the parliamentary election against BJP's Babul Supriyo at Asansol, said a land once taken for industries can not be returned.

Ghatak's statement clearly contradicted the line of his party, which has remained stubborn about returning land to the unwilling farmers and created a big ruckus in Singur in the state where Tata Motors set up a car factory a few years back. The TMC's stubborn resistance to the project and demand to return the land taken for the factory to those farmers unwilling to part their land changed the course of Bengal's politics.

Ghatak said land is must for industries but there is no provision in law to return the land once taken. "If once tries to return the land taken in Singur and Andal (where an airport city is set to come up) now, it will lead to complication," he said.

The TMC's stand on returning land to the 'unwilling' farmers in Singur hit a legal roadblock after the first legislative effort of the Mamata Banerjee government found objection from the Tatas. The Supreme Court is scheduled to give its verdict on the matter in November and according to legal experts, the state government's position is weaker in this case. Ghatak's statement will make it more uncomfortable for the TMC leadership.

CPI(M) leader Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, a lawyer by profession and a former mayor of Kolkata, said what the TMC minister said, they have been saying the same throughout.

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