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NDA backs Singur cause, seeks PM's intervention

The NDA is in favour of an alternate site for setting up Tata's Rs one-lakh car project, reports Shekhar Iyer.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2006 17:58 IST

The NDA on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to impress upon West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to "get off the high horse" and rescind the decision to hand over fertile land to Tata Motors against which Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee's fast entered 24th day.

At a meeting held at the residence of former PM AB Vajpayee, the Opposition leaders also decided to seek President APJ Adbul Kalam's intervention to save the life of Banerjee whose condition they said was "critical and sharply deteriorating."

In a show of solidarity with her, they demanded that the West Bengal re-negotiate with Tata Motors to give up the multi-crop land at Singur and accept an alternate site for setting up their township and real estate project.

They also wanted that the disputed land to be returned to those farmers and cultivators who had not given consent and/or not taken cheques offered by the state government in lieu of their land.

Describing Banerjee's agitation as "death-defying", the NDA leaders adopted a resolution that said the Opposition alliance noted with "dismay" the double standards of the Centre, which rushed a team led by Water Resources Minister to BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh when a handful of agitators created disturbances on the issue of raising the height of the Narmada Dam.

But it was silent on the Marxist-ruled West Bengal though "the entire country was worried about Mamata Banerjee's condition and the UPA Government at the Centre and the CPI-M led West Bengal government should be held responsible if anything untoward happens to her."

The NDA leaders said, "In the event of the PM waking up from his slumber even at this late hour and accepting the demands (listed by the Opposition alliance), the NDA would plead with Ms Banerjee to break her indefinite fast."

BJP's deputy leader in Lok Sabha VK Malhotra said the NDA expressed its solidarity with Banerjee's agitation to uphold the land and livelihood of the farmers in the face of "high decibel propaganda" of the CPI-M.

"The farmers were terrorised by the police and the CPI-M cadres to part with their lands and accept whatever compensation handed over to them. There is no justification for taking over multi-crop farm land and uproot the agriculturists when the industry could be allowed to come up in uncultivated waste lands or be located in single crop producing lands," he said.

The NDA meeting was convened after BJP president Rajnath Singh called on Banerjee in Kolkata on Tuesday. Those who attended the NDA meeting included Leaders of Opposition in Parliament LK Advani and Jaswant Singh, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal, Shiv Sena MP Eknath Thakur and Biju Janata Dal leader Brij Kishore Tripathi.

First Published: Dec 27, 2006 14:17 IST