Kolkata, Aug 8: West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress Friday continued its attack on Ratan Tata with yet another minister questioning the silence of the Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus on the issue of returning the land to farmers in Singur.
A war of words has ensued between the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool and Tata after he said he could not see much signs of industrial development during his drive to the city from the Kolkata airport Wednesday.
Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee said Tata should have agreed to return to the farmers the 400 acres of the land “forcibly” acquired by the erstwhile Left Front government for a car manufacturing unit in Singur in Hooghly district.
The project was subsequently relocated to Gujarat following a sustained peasant movement led by Banerjee.
“He chose to remain silent on the issue, when he should have brought smiles to the farmers of Singur by agreeing to return the land for which they are waiting for long,” said former industries minister Chatterjee, who now holds the education portfolio.
The Banerjee government’s legislation for returning the “forcibly” acquired land has faced a legal challenge from the company. The matter is now pending before the Supreme Court.
State Finance Minister Amit Mitra and Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim Thursday launched a scathing attack on Tata saying the industrialist has “lost his mind” and was “suffering from delusion”.
Continuing in the same vein, Chatterjee too wondered how Tata can hope to see industries in an area that is strictly meant for residential and commercial development.
“Had he driven through industrial areas he could have seen the projects. How can he see industries on residential and commercial areas? He should not make ill founded comments,” added Chatterjee.
Tata had Thursday hit back at Mitra for his “lost his mind” comment and quipped he would be delighted if the minister could show him the industrial development which he had missed.
Mitra later retorted by saying, “Tata is ill-informed and confused”.
“I am truly surprised that he was not even aware before making this comment that the area through which he was driving was strictly for residential and commercial development and therefore could not have had any industrial plants visible to him.
“It indicates that Mr. Ratan Tata is ill-informed and confused,” Mitra said Thursday.