The Trinamool Congress has rubbished the West Bengal government's argument that land taken from unwilling farmers in Singur for a Tata Motors' project cannot be returned and said the matter can be sorted out if there is political will to do so.
"The land acquired from unwilling farmers in Singur must be returned to them. We will fight for the return of the land," Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee said.
Her reaction came shortly after Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, during a core committee meeting of the state cabinet, turned down the Trinamool's demand that land acquired forcibly from farmers be returned.
He also said an alternative proposal was being worked out by the government.
Accusing the chief minister of "distorting facts and misleading the people", Banerjee told PTI: "Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee does not know the ABC of land acquisition. If the state government has the political will, the matter can still be sorted out.
"It is clear the Marxist government has been hand in glove with big money, represented by the Tatas and multinational companies, to take away fertile agricultural land from the poor farmers and gift it to them."
Emerging from the core committee meeting, in which both the Singur and Nandigram issues figured, PWD Minister Kshiti Goswami quoted Bhattacharjee as having told the meet that "land acquired for the Tata project cannot be returned".
There are legal hurdles and a boundary wall was constructed at the site in Singur, he told reporters.