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Day 2: Singur talks inconclusive, to resume on Sun
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September 06, 2008 17:11 IST
Last Updated: September 06, 2008 18:40 IST

The talks to end the Singur imbroglio remained inconclusive for the second day on Saturday with the Trinamool Congress-led opposition and a government panel agreeing to meet again on Sunday.

A press statement issued by Raj Bhavan in Kolkata after the meeting, presided over by West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, said that the sides went into greater detail on the prospects of a land-based rehabilitation scheme in and around the Singur project site.

"The governor trusts that the discussion will lead to a satisfactory conclusion on Sunday or on Monday," it said.

Emerging from the Raj Bhavan, Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee told reporters that talks will be resumed on Sunday.

Asked whether talks were positive, he replied, "I don't say it is negative."

The progress was conveyed to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.

Earlier report from Business Standard:

The meeting between the West Bengal government and the Opposition in the presence of governor, Gopal Krishna Gandhi, seeking a breakthrough in the Singur impasse, appeared to have achieved success with the state accepting the 'land for land' formula, and offering 47 acres inside the factory complex now held by WBIDC and another 27 acres acres held by the power department inside the factory complex, along with state held (or 'khas') land of 43 acres and unclaimed land of 5 acres nearby.

In addition, the state panchayat department had identified farmland nearby and if any "unwilling farmer" wanted farmland, the state would finance his purchase of such land so that he could resume his lifestyle.

The negotiating sides had gone into recess and would meet again at 1600 hrs.

The land inside the factory complex would house a commercial complex and shops owned by "unwilling farmers" who had lost land to the 997 acre factory complex and had not accepted compensation.

Ironically, the farmer-owned commercial complex was suggested as the solution by the state agricultural marketing department in July 2007 under Naren Chatterjee of the Forward Bloc but rejected by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

A source in the Left claimed this deal was a victory as Mamata Banerjee had abandoned her demand for 400 acres.

In contrast, a Trinamool leader said, "Even one acre extracted from the government represents a victory for land losers".

Sources in the Left Front had indicated that the 'land for land' issue was likely to dominate proceedings on Saturday and the government was keen to clinch the issue.

"If it settles the matter once and for all, the government will drum up upto 100 acres for the unwilling farmers", he indicated.

Additional inputs from Business Standard

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