Kolkata: Sharing the anxiety of Tatas, West Bengal government said on Sunday it is “legally” not possible to return the land acquired under the acquisition law, while hoping that the Tata Motors Ltd will not withdraw the small-car project from Singur.
Firm ground: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee. Photo: Swapan Mahapatra / PTI
“The way Mamata Banerjee (Trinamool Congress president) is demanding, it is impossible for the state government to meet her demand. Legally, it is not possible to return the land acquired under land acquisition Act,” West Bengal industry minister Nirupam Sen said, while quoting a Supreme Court ruling.
“The issue was also taken to the Calcutta high court and it said that land acquisition was as per law,” he said, adding there were no legal provisions to return the land once acquired by the government under the land acquisition law.
Spearheading the agitation demanding return of the 400 acres of the land from 1,000 acres given to Tatas for the Nano project, Banerjee said on Sunday the only solution to the stand-off could be shifting the vendors to the opposite side of the car unit.
Asked if there could be a break-through in the stalemate, Sen said, “We are trying to resolve the issue. We hope we will be able to do it.”
A delegation of the Trinamool Congress and smaller parties on Sunday met West Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi who had written a letter to Banerjee, apparently urging her to resolve the problem.
Without disclosing what transpired in the meeting , delegation leader Partha Chatterjee told reporters that “we informed him of our stand and listened to his views. We will inform Trinamool Congress chief of our talks with the governor and she will say whatever has to be said.”
Meanwhile, there were signs of a counter-movement building up as a rally in support of the project went round villages surrounding the site on Sunday.
The rally was attended by several hundred people who chanted pro-plant slogans and carried posters backing the project. A public meeting was also held at Beraberi village.