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Tata threatens to pull out Nano project from West Bengal
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August 22, 2008 13:49 IST
Last Updated: August 22, 2008 13:55 IST

Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata on Friday threatened to pull out the 'Nano' car project from Singur in West Bengal 'if violence against the Tata employees continues.'

"If need be we will move and relocate the Nano project elsewhere. Relocation will cost both the Tatas and the West Bengal government, but I will not bring my employees here if they will be beaten up," the Tata Group chairman said.

"We want to understand why Tatas are unwanted in West Bengal. I hope West Bengal does not get characterised as a troubled spot in India," he said.

"We have plans to launch the Nano by October 2008, but many do not want that to happen," Tata added.

Earlier, West Bengal Industry Minister Nirupam Sen had expressed the confidence that Tata Motors [Get Quote] will not pull out of the Singur project unless forced.

"(Ratan) Tata told me that the company will not pull out of the Singur project unless forced to do so. A lot of investments have already been made in the project and until and unless he was forced to pull out, he will continue with the project," Sen had said.

"I tried to assure him that as far as the state government's discussion with Trinamool Congress was concerned, the party will not create any law and order problem and the agitation will be peaceful," Sen said after a 90-minute meeting with Ratan Tata after his arrival in the city to attend the AGM of Tata Tea [Get Quote] Limited.

Main opposition Trinamool Congress will begin an indefinite sit-in near the project site at Singur from August 24 to press for its demand of return of 400 acres of land to 'unwilling' farmers.

"He (Tata) is quite worried. He did not anticipate that such kind of things will happen to such kind of a project," the minister, accompanied by Industry Secretary Sabyasachi Sen, told reporters after the meeting.

Nano, the Rs 1-lakh car, is to be produced at the plant in Singur. Sen appealed to all parties including those in the opposition to think over the importance of the project and refrain from violent agitation.

On the return of Trinamool Congress' demand for return of 400 acres, Sen said the issue did not figure in the discussion.

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