West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Sunday said the farming sector in the state was overpopulated and industries were required for employment.
"A single piece of land is cultivated by an average of six people. When the state is self-sufficient in food-production, where's the harm in promoting industries simultaneously? At least that will open up huge employment avenues for all," Bhattacharjee said.
Bhattacharjee said Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's indefinite agitation in front of the Tata Motors factory at Singur, demanding return of 400 acres land to farmers, was "baseless".
"When Banerjee has failed to understand that ancillary industries and the mother plant must be together or else Nano cannot roll out from Singur, it's no point in showing any logic to her," he said.
"Banerjee says the government has illegally acquired land at Singur. But it is she who has put up a dais on the National Highway-2 (NH2), which is illegal, and clogged the entire road."
"It's the moral duty of the government to look for the welfare of the poor. We have already trained 1,500 people, including women, at Singur for the Tata Motors plant," Bhattacharjee said.
The chief minister said he was still open to talks with Banerjee over the Singur issue.
"I am always ready to discuss the matter with Banerjee and arrive at a solution, provided she stops being irrational, and logically perceives the matter," Bhattacharjee added.
The Trinamool Congress-led indefinite siege in Singur, that started Aug 24, has crippled Tata Motors' bid to roll out the world's cheapest car Nano from West Bengal, besides choking a key highway.
A total of 997.11 acres were acquired for the Tata Motors Nano project, of which 691.66 acres were given away by farmers willingly for a financial package.
Tata Motors took up the project to build the small car factory in Singur two years back. Since then there has been resistance from sections of the farmers and political parties over the farmland acquisition.