M Reyaz BeyondHeadlines
Kolkata: In her first cabinet decision West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has ordered the return of 400 acres of promised land to farmers in Singur, where Tata’s small car factory was to be set up. She, however, welcomed the “Tatababus” to set up a factory on 600 acres of remaining land.
Earlier after taking oath the triumphant first woman CM of Bengal walked to the Writers from Raj Bhavan with the crushing crowed in a symbolic 34 minutes journey. “Democracy is with people,” she later said when asked why she preferred walking.
In her first press conference as a CM, Didi – as she is fondly known – said, “…400 acres will be returned in Singur. Paper will be prepared in this regard. If the Tatababus are interested in setting up the industry…it will have to be on 600 acres.”
When confronted by the media that neither the existing land acquisition act of 1894 permit such return, nor subsequent Supreme Court rulings, she said, “Everything will be done legally.”
Tata Motors later in the evening clarified: “There has not been any official reaction from the Tata Group on Singur issue.”
She, however, welcomed the Tatas as long as they restrict themselves with those 600 acres in Singur. “Everybody is welcome in Bengal,” she asserted.
Tata Motors was going to set up a small car factory in Singur, but some farmers were unwilling as they were not happy with the compensation. As a 92 year old Gopal Santra, one of the most vocal farmers from the opposing camp had told this writer during the agitation, “Tata came here not for country service. But for business… We want Tata, but we also want job security.”
Few days back Ratan Tata was in town to inaugurate a specialty hospital build by them.