Won’t return land, says Buddhadeb | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Won’t return land, says Buddhadeb

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee says that his government would not return land to farmers.

kolkata Updated: Aug 27, 2008 01:11 IST
HT Correspondents

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Tuesday said his government would not return land to farmers.

He also urged India Inc not to form an opinion on the state of affairs in Bengal on the basis of Singur.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who has launched an indefinite dharna near the Tata Motors plant at Singur, insisted on Monday that the government has to return 400 acres to ‘unwilling farmers’.

Speaking at a session organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce (Assocham), Bhattacharjee said his government cannot afford to return the 400 acres as it would tantamount to stopping the project.

“Our case has been upheld by the High Court and it is practically impossible to locate absentee landlords to whom land can be given back,” Bhattacharjee said.

Describing what was happening as ‘unfortunate’, Bhattacharjee said: “I am not an egoist. We are ready to formulate a package for those affected by the project,” he said.

“I still believe that Nano will roll out from the Singur plant in October,” he said.

On bandhs, Bhattacharjee said that he did not support any bandhs as they render no service to the nation. “... I have decided that next time I will open my mouth.

Meanwhile, at the Tata plant, authorities reported a diminishing progress of work with a looming threat of complete paralysis if the confrontation continues.

Though 80 to 85 per cent of Tata executives reported for work on Tuesday, the percentage of contract workers who form the bulk of labour force, fell drastically to 20 per cent.

There were around 350 labourers inside the plant whereas around 2000 are needed for regular work.

The constant presence of Mamata Banerjee and her followers just outside the plant, is making them scared, said an engineer.