Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee opened a new chapter in Singur controversy on Thursday by promising to build a factory there. Addressing a public rally, she said a factory in Singur would be the first task of the new government in West Bengal. But she stopped short of vowing to reclaim the plot from the Tatas.
She claimed it was as foregone conclusion that her party would head the new government after Assembly elections in the state due in April-May.
Just before Mamata's address, land expert Debobrata Bandyopadhyay, one of Mamata's principal advisors, said the plot could be taken away from the Tatas under Section 21 of the General Clauses Act, 1897— a suggestion which got a smiling nod from Banerjee.
"Return 400 acres out of the total 997," the railways minister said. It was her unyielding demand for the return of 400 acres that prompted Ratan Tata to pull out of Singur in October 2008 when the Nano factory was almost complete and ready for production.
Tata spokesperson refused to comment on her statement.
Banerjee continued her attack on the Nano factory on Thursday, saying, "600 acres were more than enough for the factory. Why did they need 1,000 acres? The 600 acres would have accommodated swimming pools, shopping malls and items of luxury living as well," she said.
Mamata's rally was held four days after chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee addressed a public meet at a spot 7 km from the factory. and urged those who lost land to unite in demanding an industrial unit there.