Left lost the plot in Singur: Mamataa | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Left lost the plot in Singur: Mamataa

In an exclusive interview to HT, Mamataa Banerjee admitted that the West Bengal government's botched attempt to acquire about 1,000 acres of land for the Tata Nano factory in Singur proved a turning point for her party and gave her the trump card. Arnab Mitra reports. Full interview

delhi Updated: Apr 23, 2011 00:45 IST
Arnab Mitra

It was the Left Front government that, ironically, gave Trinamool Congress chief Mamataa Banerjee a new lease of life.

In an exclusive interview to HT, Banerjee admitted that the West Bengal government's botched attempt to acquire about 1,000 acres of land for the Tata Nano factory in Singur proved a turning point for her party and gave her the trump card.

"It exposed the Left's thinking on land acquisition. They wanted to snatch land using guns, bullets and force," she said.

But, she added, her emergence as a major political force means little to her personally.

"My whole focus is to be with the people."

Refuting the charge that by spending most of her time in Bengal, she has neglected her duties as railway minister, Banerjee pointed out that modern technology - namely telephones and teleconferencing - enabled her to carry out her responsibilities just as well from Kolkata.

Banerjee took pains to dispel the perception that her party is anti-industry.

"We are pro-industry. Agriculture and industry can both co-exist. We will scientifically create a land map for every district and clearly identify agricultural land and industrial land."

And why has she changed the spelling of her name to Mamataa?

"It's a small matter. Casual."