West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya's bid to resolve the Singur tangle failed on Friday night when his offer of 70 acress within Tata Motors [Get Quote] project to 'unwilling' farmers and compensation to those whose land fell outside was rejected outright by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee at a face-to-face meeting with him.
After the 75-minute meeting with Bhattacharya, Banerjee told reporters that "the chief minister offered to give back only 70 acres inside the project site to land losers at Singur and monetary compensation to those whose land fell outside.
It was clearly mentioned in the agreement at the Raj Bhavan talks on September 7 that maximum land will be made available to farmers inside the project area, but it was intimated tonight that not land but monetary compensation will be given, to which we did not agree," she said.
The meeting between the two leaders came after a meeting of the four-member committee tasked with identifying modalities of returning the land to farmers who did not get any compensation. The committee comprises two representatives each of the government and Trinamool Congress.
"Our two committee members have identified 300 acres of land inside the project and the area earmarked for the ancilliary units," she said.
"How the government will implement it is their concern. We want the government to implement in letter and spirit the agreement reached on Sunday in the presence of the governor where it was agreed that maximum land would be provided inside the project and the rest outside," Banerjee said.
Asked whether she would resume the agitation, including the dharna which has been kept suspended, the Trinamool chief said, "I will let you know whatever decision is taken.
Asked if the talks had broken down, she said, "No it has not broken down. We are ready for another round of discussion. We want a solution to Singur issue and with that in mind, I came to attend tonight's meeting."
"We will wait. The state government should honour the September 7 agreement held at the initiative of Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi," Banerjee said.
She said she told the chief minister that he had not mentioned earlier that his government would not be able to give more than 70 acres in the project area.
"But he said the Tatas have been saying... and I told him clearly it is your matter (Tata affair)... I have been repeatedly saying that the main mother plant be set up on 600 acres... and 300 acres from inside project area and 100 acres outside be given back to farmers."
The Trinamool chief said, "353 acres should be given to unwilling farmers and 50 acres to bargadars. This was our demand. I am not bothered what the Tatas want, but I never said that the Tatas suspend work. They did it on their own."
|© Copyright 2008 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.