The Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has appealed to the Trinamool Congress chief to sit for talks over Singur even as the home secretary worked out measures to stop any disruption of work at the Tata Motors project site
While the state home secretary has warned that no agitational programmes would be allowed near the project site, the Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee made an impassioned plea in the state Assembly to the Trinamool Congress to come forward for talks on Singur. He sought the cooperation of the Opposition.
“I earnestly urge the Opposition, particularly the Trinamul Congress, to participate in talks as the state needs its cooperation. It is not as if the government cannot make mistakes and the Opposition needs to point out our mistakes. The government was not above criticism,” the chief minister said in the Assembly.
Bhattacharjee pointed out that his government was committed to socio-economic progress of the state and wants to involve the Opposition in the development process, because it has an important role to play. “It's our responsibility to create more job opportunities for the future generation,” he added.
The chief minister wanted to discuss Singur and other industry initiatives without delay. “Our joint efforts should be a continuous process,” he added.
But Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee
remains adamant about the government returning 400 acres of land acquired forcibly. She is willing to talk if the land is returned to the farmers. She offered to help the government find alternative land where the ancillary units could be shifted.
In the same breath she accused Bhattacharjee of not keeping his word to discuss the land acquisition problem. She claimed the chief minister wrote to her on December 18, 2006, promising to discuss the land acquisition problem. But he had not bothered to keep his word. She also had sneaking suspicion that the state government could take recourse to repressive measures to thwart her indefinite dharna. She in turn warned that the government would be responsible if any untoward incident occurs.
Even as the chief minister tried to woo the Opposition the state's home secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti visited the Singur project and held a meeting with senior officials to review the law and order situation yesterday.
In a clear warning he announced that the government would initiate strong action against those who may resort to violence or disrupt work at the project site. If any employee involved in the project is prevented from going to work or if the gates of the Tata Motors site are blocked or there are attempts to enter forcibly, strong action would be taken. The administration would not allow any procession or political meeting which blocks the entrance to the project site, he warned. He, however, said that if any political party stages a peaceful protest, it would be allowed.