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Day of marathon meetings

kolkata Updated: Sep 03, 2008 02:00 IST
Sujit Nath
Sujit Nath
Hindustan Times
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The Singur crisis reached its height on Tuesday when the Tatas issued the final pull out threat. At the same time, Mamata Banerjee budged from her rigid stance of accepting land only in the 400 acres.

"Land for Land" is her new formula, paving way for talks with the government. But all these things happened not without drama for the entire day.

Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee was seen restless and exhausted by rushing twice from Singur to Raj Bhawan. Around noon, Partha entered Raj Bhawan and after discussing the crisis with governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, left for Singur.

Partha declined to divulge what transpired at the discussions, but sources said the talks centered on finding a neutral mediator.

Throughout the day there was speculation that things were on the right track. Farmers at Singur were optimistic the crisis would be solved soon. In the evening, Partha once again rushed to Raj Bhawan and after another meeting with the governor, left for Singur.

The flurry of activities at Singur with Partha rushing to Raj Bhawan twice, a large crowd in front of Mamata's stage in Singur were seen in a victorious mood. Around 4.15 pm after consulting Mamata once again, Partha Chatterjee rushed to Raj Bhawan for another round of talks with the governor.

Around 6.10 pm, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee met the governor. At 7.47 pm, the Chief minister came out of Raj Bhawan and said, "I am happy the governor took the initiative. I have requested him to take the initiative to solve the crisis."

"See what our didi (Mamata) can do? She proved that she is the leader of the masses and forced our chief minister to rush to Raj Bhawan," Manik Ghosh, a Trinamool Congress supporter, said.

At Singur, Mamata Banerjee said, "We are ready to sit for discussions, but only if the issue of land is raised. Even we also want the Tata factory but it should go hand in hand with agriculture."

In flurries of activities, former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly charged the atmosphere by saying West Bengal would become a dark spot if the project is shifted from Singur. Trinamool Congress leaders expressed their anger over Ganguly's statement.

But, finally, around 7.22 pm, Tata Motors dropped the bomb, which had ripple effects across the country.

The company said in a fax statement to media houses that Tata Motors is looking for an alternate option to manufacture its small car Nano at the other company facilities and work at Singur has been suspended.