In the run-up to the crucial talks to resolve the Singur impasse, West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi on Thursday began preliminary discussions with the state government and Opposition Trinamool Congress even as the Trinamool Congress' indefinite agitation entered its 12th day.
As part of the exercise, the Governor also held parleys with Sudip Bandopadhyay, chairman of the Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce and Industry.
The state's Industry Minister, Nirupam Sen, accompanied by Panchayat Minister Surya Kanta Mishra met the Governor at Raj Bhavan apparently to prepare the groundwork for Friday's talks to end the deadlock, Raj Bhavan sources in Kolkata said.
The chief secretary of the state Amit Kiran Deb and home secretary Ashoke Mohan Chakraborty were also present at the meeting.
The sources, however, refused to divulge what transpired in their meeting with the Governor.
Later, a Trinamool delegation, led by Opposition leader Partha Chatterjee, held talks with Gandhi.
Gandhi has agreed to preside over the talks between a government panel and a five-member Trinamool delegation, but he declined to be viewed as a third party mediator.
The Governor's decision to chair the meeting came following requests from Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Mamata Banerjee to mediate personally to find a solution to the prolonged deadlock that threatened to derail the setting up of the Tata Motors' [Get Quote] car plant which is set to roll out the world's cheapest car.
Meanwhile, the situation in Singur remained peaceful, though the dharna site was thronged by the usual crowd that has been turning up regularly for the last 12 days.
One lane of Durgapur Expressway remained open for traffic movement on Thursday.
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