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I think Ms Banerjee pulled the trigger, says Tata
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October 04, 2008 00:13 IST
Last Updated: October 04, 2008 01:16 IST

This was how a despondent Ratan Tata, who once said he will not pull out of Singur even at gun-point, on Friday summed up his group's "painful" decision to exit the Rs 1-lakh Nano car project from West Bengal.

At a press conference to announce the decision, the 70-year-old chief of Tata group recalled how he had mentioned that if somebody holds a gun to to his head they are welcome to pull the trigger but he is not the kind of person to leave under pressure or threat in the face of a prolonged agitation led by Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee.

"I think some time back I mentioned that if somebody puts a gun to my head, you will pull the trigger or you take the gun away because I will not move my head. I think Ms Banerjee has pulled the trigger," Tata said today.

When the agitation was at its peak, Tata stood his ground and had categorically stated that he would not bow to any presure or external threat to pull out from West Bengal.

He had even charged that it was not just politics but some business rivals may be behind the growing trouble over Singur but did not identify them.

At today's press conference, Tata again did not rule out the possibility of involvement of some business groups behind the Singur stir.

He did not want to respond when asked if some rival business groups were fomenting the agitation but raised some questions.

"It has made us wonder where some of the funds for the agitation and the arrangements and the logistics have come from and that led us to some degree of pondering what may be behind the agitation."

It hardly matters: Mamata

Unmoved, Mamata Banerjee on Friday termed "unfortunate" Tata group chairman Ratan Tata blaming her for the winding up of the project.

"It is an unfortunate comment of an individual blaming me for the pullout decision at Singur," Banerjee said.

She demanded that Ratan Tata should return the acquired land to farmers, who had been unwilling to part with it for the Nano project.

"It hardly matters to us. It is a joint gameplan of the CPI(M) and the Tatas to leave ... The allegation that our agitation was violent is bogus," she claimed.

Very sad move: CPI-M

The 'hurried' decision by the Tata was 'sad', the Left Front said.

"The hurried decision of the Tatas to withdraw the Singur project is very sad," Left Front chairman Biman Bose said.

"The unjustified demands raised by the main Opposition party-led alliance in the name of agitation stating that it would not allow the Tata project to come up is condemnable," he said.

The people of the state and those in Singur had been deprived of the economic benefits that the project, of international standard, would have entailed, even though the majority had consented to the land acquisition for it," Bose, the state secretary of CPI(M), said. 

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