After blaming Mamata Banerjee for the Nano pullout from Singur, Ratan Tata on Friday kept the embers burning by publicly asking the people of West Bengal to 'choose' between the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government or a "destructive political environment of lawlessness."
The comments by the Chairman of the Tata group in an open letter to the people of West Bengal led Banerjee's Trinamool Congress to quickly demand an unconditional apology or face legal action for targetting the firebrand leader.
"Tata should explain what he meant by confrontative actions by the Trinamool Congress led by Ms Mamata Banerjee and supported by vested interests," senior Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee said,
The TC also said the remarks were 'politically motivated' and 'unprecedented' and was also joined by a Left Front partner Forward Bloc, which said the comments on the internal politics of West Bengal was 'undesirable'.
The Tata Sons chairman said the people, particularly the young, would need to express their views on what they would like to see West Bengal to become in the years ahead.
"Would they like to support the present government of Buddhadev Bhattacharjee to build a prosperous state with the rule of law, modern infrastructure and industrial growth, or would they like to see the state consumed by a destructive political environment of confrontation, agitation, violence and lawlessness?" Tata asked in the letter which appeared in a few dailies.
Blaming the 'confrontative actions' by Banerjee in opposing the acquisition of land by the state government causing serious disruptions in the Nano small car plant, he said the decision to pull out was not done in haste.
He (Tata) should come out with evidence and establish that Mamata Banerjee acted for vested interests. The onus lies with the Tatas. We demand an unconditional apology from him, failing which we will take judicial recourse," Chatterjee, the Leader of the Opposition in the assembly said.
"Why is Tata holding brief for the CPM and the chief minister? The statement is to malign the party and the party chief, he said.
Tata, in his statement also claimed that the land acquired by the state government at Singur and leased to Tata Motors was made through a transparent process with fair compensation.
He said that he felt compelled to write to explain how his company's dream was shattered that left no option but to withdraw the project from the state.
Senior Trinamool leader Saugata Roy said, "It is unprecedented. I have never heard of an industrialist giving a statement directly in favour of a state government and its chief minister and directly against a major opposition party.
"It sounds like a statement issued on the eve of the Lok Sabha election. I do not know why Mr Ratan Tata brought himself to this level. It was not expected," he said.
State Congress working president Subrata Mukherjee said it was "in bad taste for a monopoly businessman to speak in favour of a political party."
Veteran leader of LF ally, Forward Bloc, Ashok Ghose said Ratan Tata's comment on the internal politics of West Bengal was 'undesirable'. "The people of West Bengal have a long political tradition. They will not take any lesson from Tata in this respect."