On her first visit to Singur since September last year, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday “unwilling landlosers” would get back their land as soon as litigation in the Supreme Court was over.
“I have kept my promise and took away the land from the Tatas as soon as we came to power. Now the land belongs to the state government. It is stuck in some legalities but will be returned once litigation is over,” Banerjee said while briefing the media after her meeting with the district administration in Singur, which was the flashpoint of a movement against land acquisition for a car project.
In June 2012, a Calcutta high court division bench had ruled the land act, piloted by Banerjee’s government in favour of Singur’s landlosers, was unconstitutional. The matter has gone to the Supreme Court.
The Singur MLA from the Trinamool, Rabindranath Bhattacharjee, who has resigned from the party in protest against his shifting from the agriculture ministry, was conspicuous by his absence. An hour after Banerjee left the place, Bhattacharjee, 80, announced retirement from politics and said he would also resign as MLA. However, he did not say anything against the party leadership.
“I’ve told the CM I don’t want to be in the ministry. I have got no reply to my letter and I believe I’m no longer a minister,” Bhattacharjee said.
Banerjee asked minister Becharam Manna, Bhattacharjee’s deputy during the Singur movement, to unveil the foundation stone of a college. However, Manna politely refused it and she unveiled the foundation stone.