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Rabi urges Singur talks

Singur, Dec. 17: Former agriculture minister Rabindranath Bhattacharya today suggested that the government and the Tatas should “sit across the table and settle the Singur land issue”.

“I welcome Tata’s remarks on Singur yesterday as a representative of the farmers here. If the Tatas and the government sit across the table to settle the Singur issue, the farmers would be benefited,” Bhattacharya said this afternoon.

Tata had yesterday referred to the possibility of keeping Singur in the picture.

Bhattacharya, a Trinamul MLA from Singur who turned down the less important programme implementation department, today decided to stay away from an event organised by the Singur Krishi Jomi Raksha Committee, which he had led against the Left Front government’s “forcible acquisition” of land. He said the programme would hardly help the cause of farmers.

The committee will tomorrow organise a Martyrs’ Day to commemorate the killing of Tapasi Malik in 2006.

“Those at tomorrow’s event would only discuss politics and none of the problems of the farmers would be referred to,” he said.

Panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee, urban development minister Firhad Hakim and junior agriculture minister Becharam Manna would attend the event.

A Trinamul leader said Bhattacharya “prefers to skip tomorrow’s event” to avoid sharing the stage with Manna, his one-time aide. Manna was not available for comment.