Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee hinted at having opened a direct line of communication with Tata Motors over the Singur imbroglio with just four days to go before she is scheduled to launch a dharna outside the Nano car project site.
Interacting freely with the heads of all chambers of business and leading industrialists here Tuesday, Mamata stressed that she had a one-point agenda: the government must return 400 acres at Singur to farmers still unwilling to accept the compensation package for the total of 997 acres acquired for the project in 2006.
She claimed, she had just received a letter from Tata Motors. She declined to disclose the subject of the letter but would say only that the Tatas had specified the amount of land required for the actual car factory. And this is 600-650 acres. The rest is for ancillaries.
??Is there anyone from Tata Motors here who can give me permission to read out a few lines from this letter??? Mamata asked the gathering. ??The letter is confidential so I will not disclose its contents without their permission.??
Mamata was replying to a question from SB Ganguly, former chairman of Exide Industries. Ganguly had asked her to come forward if she had a solution to the Singur deadlock. The government says no land can be returned without jeopardizing the entire project. Mamata says it can.
Tata Motors? letter to Mamata comes around three weeks after opponents of the land acquisition at Singur had assaulted project workers at the site, prompting Tata Motors managing director Ravi Kant to issue a veiled warning that the company?s patience is limited.
With the chambers issuing a joint statement on August 6 calling for an amicable solution, Mamata said the next day that she was ready to talk to the Tatas.
On Tuesday, Mamata sought to blame chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and his CPI(M) party for the mess, saying: ??Neither the Tatas nor the villagers are responsible for the situation? The Tatas are the scapegoat.??
Mamata also blasted Buddhadeb and the CPI(M) for using delaying tactics, referring specifically to an invitation from him on Monday to sit at the table and work out a solution.
For the first time in the two years, Mamata had on Monday accepted the invitation but she said the CM has deputed his commerce and industries minister Nirupam Sen to talk to Mamata?s emissary, Partha Chatterjee.