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Ensure sanctity of Nano accord: Mamata to Governor
Published on 20 Sep. 2008 12:42 AM IST
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Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Friday urged West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi to ensure that the Sep 7 agreement signed between the state government and the opposition to break the deadlock over Tata Motors’ Nano plant site was implemented. Briefing reporters after an 80-minute meeting with Gandhi at the Raj Bhawan, Banerjee said: “The governor told me, now that he has heard our side of the happenings related to Singur, he will also ask the state government to brief him.” Banerjee’s meeting with the governor took place two days after Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee made it clear that he saw no more scope for Gandhi to mediate in the talks. Squarely blaming the state’s ruling Left Front for the deadlock over land acquisition in Singur, about 40 km from here, Banerjee said: “They veered away from the agreement by unilaterally announcing a package.” Banerjee said her party had faith in the governor and was hopeful that good sense would also prevail on the government. “The governor told me that he wanted a solution to the matter in the interest of the state and its people. I requested him that if need be you (Gandhi) should take forward the talks on the issue,” she said. The Trinamool leader said she briefed the governor about the developments concerning Singur while he was in New Delhi to attend the governors’ meet convened by the president. Gandhi returned to the city Thursday. Banerjee said the government had suddenly announced the compensation package. “We apprised Gandhi about this and told him the Sep 7 agreement should be operationalised.” She ridiculed the state administration’s claim that a number of farmers, who had earlier refused the compensation cheque for their land acquired for the project, had agreed to accept the new compensation package. “The CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) cadres have forced some people to do so at the gun point. They are terrorising the people. The governor should ask the cadres not to threaten the farmers,” Banerjee said. Asked whether she was still sticking to her stand that 400 acres taken by the government should be returned to the farmers, Banerjee said: “That’s what the agreement says. The government has all the details about the people who haven’t taken compensation package. This land could be 410 acres or even 392 acres. The government has all the records.” Banerjee announced that the Krishi Jami Jiban Jibika Raksha Committee (KJJRC), the umbrella body for the farmers’ protest, which has forced Tata Motors to suspend operations in the Singur factory from Sep 2, would meet Sunday to discuss the course of action. The project, slated to roll out the world’s cheapest car, Nano, has been facing resistance from farmers, supported by the Trinamool Congress, since it was announced in May 2006. Many farmers have demanded the return of 400 acres “forcibly acquired” from “unwilling farmers”.

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