September 27, 2008 17:24 IST
Amid uncertainty over the Tata Motors [Get Quote] small car project at Singur, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said on Saturday Ratan Tata has replied to his letter expressing willingness to talk to him.
"Today Ratan Tata has replied to my letter and expressed his willingness to talk to me and I told him I would hold discussion with him," Bhattacharjee told a rally of CPI-M student wing in Kolkata.
Bhattacharjee wrote to Ratan Tata on Friday requesting him to restart work at the Singur plant.
He said he had informed Ratan Tata that he fully appreciated the problem he was experiencing in setting up the 'Nano' car plant.
"I told Tata that he should ponder that this will not only be an automobile industry for the state, but will usher in industrial resurgence," the chief minister said.
Stating that his government was trying hard to keep the Tata project at Singur in the face of severe resistance by the opposition, Bhattacharjee said, "If the Tatas leave, the Opposition will be solely responsible."
Expressing disappointment at the turn of events in Singur, the chief minister said, 'attacks on employees and engineers and abusing them will deter the Tatas from going ahead with the project.'
"How can a plant be run if such incidents take place?" he asked.
He said if the Tatas were unable to return to Singur because of such acts, the Opposition would be held responsible and charged with betraying people.
He once again ruled out accepting the demand of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee who has been insisting that 300 acres of land from within the project area be returned to 'unwilling' land-losers.
"I asked her if she wants the small car plant or not. Bargaining over 300/400 acre will not help the plant to come up at all. You should accept the reality."
The chief minister said he had tried his best to convince the Opposition leader that the economy of Singur would undergo a sea-change with the Nano plant coming up.
He said it was not important whether the plant 'was built by the Tatas or Birlas'.
"What is important is that 6000 youths will get jobs."
Stating that a transition from agriculture to industry was inevitable for generation of employment, he accused the Trinamool Congress of creating obstacles in different parts of the state in development activities, including in setting up a power plant at Katwa in Burdwan district in the name of agitation.
"Will the Trinamool decide the future progress of the state or the people", he asked.
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