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Mamata blames CM, hardens stand

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee threatens that Nano would never roll out from Singur if her demand for return of 400 acres to its farmers is not met.

india Updated: Aug 26, 2008 22:49 IST

Threatening that Tata Motors' Nano would never roll out from Singur if her demand for return of 400 acres to its farmers is not met with, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday held Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee responsible for the stalemate.

"Either Nano rolls out and agriculture stays or Nano stops rolling but agriculture stays," Banerjee told her audience on the third day of the indefinite 'dharna' (sit-in demonstration) staged here by party activists.

Banerjee said her partymen were patient but the government had 'betrayed' their expectations and the CM had become 'unmasked' by her 'everchanging statements' on the issue.

"Our agitation has not spread any tension so far and will not in future but the government should return 400 acres to farmers reluctant to part with them," she said.

Banerjee said that she had gone through the Chief Minister's letter on Monday before shooting off a two-line reply. She was of the impression that the missive sported some "positive signs."

"But I later found it was a totally negative letter. He speaks something here and changes it in the next meeting. Now he says not a piece of land can be returned," she said.

"Never have I said that I am averse to talks," Mamata said, holding the chief minister responsible for the impasse. "I have pointed out that I am ready for talks, provided 400 acres are returned to the unwilling farmers."

The Trinamool chief said that the CPI-M is "inconvenienced" by Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh's presence on her dharna dais.

"The CPI-M is inconvenienced now that Singh, with whom it once wanted to form a third front, has switched to the other camp," she said, amid some innovative sloganeering ripping off old slogans of the ruling party.

Meanwhile, Banerjee today called a two-hour statewide roadblock on Friday from 3 pm to 5 pm to protest the Chief Minister's rejection of demand of land return.