Cong, Trinamool scramble to draw investors into Bengal | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Cong, Trinamool scramble to draw investors into Bengal

The latest round of shadow boxing between the Congress and its estranged ally, Trinamool Congress, will be fought on the arena of industrialisation - or the lack of it - in West Bengal, and will involve top corporate honchos. Saubhadra Chatterji reports.

delhi Updated: Dec 30, 2012 23:28 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji

The latest round of shadow boxing between the Congress and its estranged ally, Trinamool Congress, will be fought on the arena of industrialisation - or the lack of it - in West Bengal, and will involve top corporate honchos.

Two weeks ago, Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee threw a dinner party for industrialists in New Delhi-a first such meeting in the capital in a clear bid to woo investors. Now, the Bengal Congress leadership plans to meet the giants of corporate India to create the "real roadmap for industrialisation" in the state.

However, Banerjee deliberately avoided calling Tata Group, Reliance and some other big names. The Congress leadership wants to welcome these corporates to send a political signal.

"We will call all big industries and take their prescription on what needs to be done to draw investments into Bengal. Currently, the outlook of the state government is unclear, and it has failed to attract any big industry to invest in the state," Bengal Congress chief Pradip Bhattacharya told HT.

The meeting, to be held early next year, will also involve top Union ministers. Bhattacharya has already asked commerce minister Anand Sharma and rural development minister Jairam Ramesh to come.

The suggestions of the industry captains will be presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other top Congress leaders, said Bhattacharya.

The move comes at a time when the Trinamool-led Bengal government is inking a new industrial policy for the state. However, the state's unwillingness to acquire land for private players has proved to be a damper - an issue that the Congress wants to capitalise on.