The thrashing that the Left parties have received at the hands of Mamata Banerji’s Trinamool Congress (TC) in West Bengal has nullified any impact whatsoever by the bad press the latter received last year due to the pull out of the Nano project from Singur.
The TC, Congress combination cornered 25 seats in the state while the Left parties could muster only 14 seats. It also demonstrated that the electorate has refused to listen to the clarion calls of Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata who in an open letter had exhorted the people of the state to support the incumbent government.
“The people of West Bengal, particularly the younger citizens, will need to express their views and aspirations as to what they would like to see West Bengal become in the years ahead,” Tata wrote in his October 18, 2008 letter.
“Would they like to support the present government of Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to build a prosperous state with the rule of law, modern infrastructure and industrial growth, supporting a harmonious investment in the agricultural sector to give the people of the state a better life? Or would they like to see the state consumed by a destructive political environment of confrontation, agitation, violence and lawlessness?”
With the Left parties reporting one of their worst performances in the state, the electorate seems to have made their choice decisively — the exit of Nano from West Bengal has the support of its electorate.
Tata Motors had decided in 2006 to manufacture the world’s cheapest car Nano at Singur, but the project became controversial with allegations of land grabbing in the garb of acquisitions by the state government. And it become a flash point in the rivalry between the Left and the Trinamul Congress.