Singur Impasse: TC and WB Governor to meet at 4 pm

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Kolkata, Sep 5: The crucial meeting between the representatives of the State Government and the Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee chaired by West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi to find a solution to the Singur deadlock was postponed till 4 pm on Friday, Sep 5 after just a few minutes in the morning.

The ruling Left Front led by Industries Minister Nirupam Sen and the Trinamool Congress delegation led by Partha Chattopadhyaya, leader of the opposition in the state assembly, met the Governor at Raj Bhavan. Soon after, the Governor said that the state government wanted the meeting to be postponed by a few hours. "Accordingly, I have requested the opposition to reassemble at 4 pm," he said.

Former Chief Justice of Bombay High Court Chittatosh Mukherjee will advise the Governor on legal aspects during the course of discussions at Raj Bhavan. Earlier, last evening the Governor held separate meetings with delegations from both sides. Embroiled in controversy over land acquisition for the TATA Motors project at Singur that led to suspension of work at the plant, its chairman Ratan Tata met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on the same day.

Ratan Tata said he was hopeful of launching the Nano as he had planned and the company was doing 'everything possible' to meet the deadline. The prospect of the talks has raised hopes that the Rs one lakh car could roll out on time in October this year.

Following TATA Motors announcement that it would relocate its Nano plant from Singur, Mamata, who had been insisting that she wouldn't talk to the Government unless it first agreed to return 400 acres to unwilling farmers, now softened her stand to take the initiative of urging the Governor to be a mediator.

The possibility of Tata pulling out has sparked anger among supporters of the project, many of them farmers who had got compensation or jobs at the factory.

The Nano project has been billed as key to the rejuvenation of industries in West Bengal. The controversy over the factory has hurt the state's image as an investment destination.

In view that the stalemate was exacting social costs of a high magnitude apart from the investment costs and the implications on the polity, Gandhi wrote a letter on Wednesday to Ratan Tata informing him about the initiative taken to resolve the deadlock at Singur.

An optimistic State Industry Minister Nirupam Sen said: "If we can together find a solution, then we can request Tata Motors' representatives to stayback in the state and resume operations."


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