Kolkata, Aug 23: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has appealed to his political adversary the Trinamool Congress to maintain peace and discuss with government to decide over the contentious TATA project.
He said he was trying to resolve the issue through holding talks with the Opposition parties. "We are exchanging details of the project with the opposition in a cordial atmosphere. We are discussing this issue with the opposition and trying to solve it at highest level," said Bhattacharjee. However, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee maintained that the problem could be resolved only if the portion of the land forcefully taken from the farmers was returned back and the rest was kept for the project. "If government and TATA think they can solve the problem we are agreed for that purpose. If 600 acres of it be kept for TATA car project and 400 acres of land be handed to farmers which has been forcefully occupied, and then this matter may be solved," Banerjee said.
Blaming the State Government for the Singur crisis, she said that it had not yet made public the finer aspects of the land deal with the TATA, despite several demands.
Meanwhile, TATA group Chairman Ratan Tata said that the group could exit the 'Nano' car project from Singur in the interest of the safety of its employees, if the violence continued there. He said that even though it would cost a great deal to move but there was a concern about the safety of employees.
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.