Hailing the Supreme Court verdict in the Tata Motors’ Nano project case as a “landmark victory”, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said she had “tears of joy” on learning about the decision and can now “die in peace”.
The top court set aside the acquisition of land by the previous Left Front government in the state for the Nano car plant, saying due processes and procedures were not followed.
“This is a landmark victory. This is a victory of the people, victory of Ma, Mati Manush (Mother, land and people -- Banerjee’s pet slogan)...” an elated Banerjee told media at the state secretariat Nabanna.
“The people of Singur suffered so much, they endured so much torture, but they never left me. I have tears of joy in my eyes. Returning land to the farmers of Singur was one promise my government could not fulfil so far,” said Banerjee.
Then the state’s principal opposition leader, the Trinamool Congress chief had undertaken a 26-day hunger strike in Kolkata in December 2006 against the “forcible land acquisition” by the erstwhile Left Front government in Singur, and demanding 400 acres taken from farmers unwilling to part with their land be returned to them.
She later travelled to the rural pocket and laid siege on the factory for 14 days in 2008.
After the Singur movement, followed by a similar agitation in Nandigram, the land acquisition agitation snowballed into a major issue in the state and brought the Trinamool to power in 2011.
The Tata group moved the project out of the state and finally set it up in Sanand in Gujarat, on land assigned to them by the state’s then investor-friendly chief minister Narendra Modi.