Expressing disappointment at the pullout of the Nano car project from West Bengal by the Tatas, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury has made a veiled criticism of the big business group which decided to set up the plant in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Gujarat.
When asked if the Left Front government felt let down by Tatas as they had taken the Nano project to Gujarat, Yechury said: "It is disappointing. You cannot go into an area and say I will build my house only if everyone gives the assurance that it will not be burgled."
He was speaking on a TV programme India Tonight, hosted by Karan Thapar.
Asked whether the Tata's demands for continuing the project in Singur were 'unreasonable,' he evaded a direct reply, but said that the Left Front government understood the difficulties faced by them in continuing in West Bengal. "The Tatas also had international commitments to meet."
"As far as the state government and we, the Left Front and CPI (M), are concerned, we said we will provide all security and protection. But the Tatas have said that their corporate philosophy is to involve the people around the project like that in Jameshedpur and if the people don't cooperate they did not wish to go ahead," Yechury said.
Singur could have become a major automobile hub in the entire Eastern region. Such hubs, he said, existed in the Southern and Western parts of the country.
"It is not that Bengal, but the whole of East India has suffered," the CPI (M) leader said, adding "the Tatas have left only for the Nano plants. It is not as that they have withdrawn from Bengal."
When asked about the adverse impact on investment coming into the state after Tata's pullout, Yechury said: "I think there is very conducive environment that can be provided to them (investors)."
". . . Though this is unfortunate, I don't think it will lead to an exodus of investment from West Bengal. Big investments are already there, they are coming and they will continue to come. It must be remembered that Bengal is among the top three investment-friendly states in the country," the CPI(M) leader said.
He blamed Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for the Nano fiasco. "All of us know the politics in Bengal and how these are being utilised for petty electoral gains and short term gains," he said.
Yechury said the people have seen the resolve and determination of the CPI(M) and the chief minister in continuing with industrialisation of the state.
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