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Singur row: 'Blame it on competitors'

Tata Group chief Ratan Tata blames competitors for 'fueling' fire in the crisis on the proposed Rs 1-lakh car project.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2006 19:12 IST

Tata Group supremo Ratan Tata on Wednesday blamed competitors for "fueling" fire in the controversy over the proposed Rs one-lakh car project at Singur in West Bengal, but resolved not to pull out of the state.

"...Let me just say it is not just political, because I happen to know that some of our competitors are also fueling some of this fire, which they would be very happy if the project got delayed," Tata said in an interview to NDTV 24X7.

Tata Motors' car project is mired into controversy over acquisition of agricultural land and forcible eviction of farmers. Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee is sitting on a hunger strike that has entered its 24th day. Tata, however, said they would not pull out of the state.

"I think the West Bengal government has been very steadfast in its support of the project and I think it would be wrong for us to say that we will pull out and go."

Asked whether he was apprehensive about the project, Tata said: "No, I am not apprehensive that it would not happen and there I really want to say that we could have gone to 2-3 other states which offered very attractive terms.

"Why did we go to West Bengal, because we believe in the leadership that the present government has provided," he said.

Tata said although the state had a Marxist government, "but we felt that West Bengal under the leadership of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is very investment friendly."

First Published: Dec 27, 2006 14:17 IST