Barjora, Aug. 1: Mamata Banerjee today said she was not in favour of those whose politics entailed closing down factories, the comments coming at a time Trinamul has been accused of disruptions at industrial units.
The chief minister also directed trade unions to co-operate with factory managements and said strikes would not be tolerated.
Mamata’s message came in the aftermath of shutdowns, extortion threats and muscle-flexing at industrial units even as big-ticket investments elude Bengal. Many saw in Mamata’s comments an effort to send a positive message to industry before she embarks on her trip to Singapore to court investment.
Speaking at the inauguration of an industrial venture of the Sidharth Birla group in Bankura’s Barjora, Mamata said she was against politics that led to the closure of plants.
“Karkhana bondho kore je rajniti kore, ami tar pokkhopati noi (I am not in favour of those whose politics entails closing down factories),” she said at the inauguration of a plant of Xpro India Ltd.
At least two industrial units near Barjora have been affected by alleged strong-arm tactics by a section of Trinamul leaders in the past one month.
Eastern Coalfields Ltd had issued an ultimatum to close down a mine in Asansol last month if action was not taken against a Trinamul union leader accused of assaulting two mine managers. The leader was arrested days later. Shyam SEL Power, a steel plant in neighbouring Jamuria, had alleged extortion threats by some Trinamul leaders.
“Unions must co-operate with the management,” Mamata said at today’s event, where a Rs 200-crore dielectric (capacitor) film plant was inaugurated. Sidharth Birla, the chairman of Xpro India, was present at the event.
The chief minister also iterated her stand against strikes. “Dhormoghot sojhyo korbo na (I will not tolerate strikes),” she said.
Mamata, who had questioned the presence of ancillary units close to the Tata Nano plant in Singur during the agitation that finally drove the project out of Bengal, today spoke in their favour. “Ancillary units increase when industry comes up,” she said.
The chief minister said she had resolved problems plaguing two upcoming power plants in Burdwan’s Katwa (NTPC) and Raghunathpur (DVC). Mamata said 1,000 acres had been made available at Goaltore, West Midnapore, for the manufacturing industry.
In a Facebook post later in the day, Mamata said Korean and Taiwanese entrepreneurs had shown interest in investing in the manufacturing of computer hardware and electronics in Bengal.
“They are world leaders in this domain. This would usher in investment and major job opportunities for youth of our state,” she said.
Mamata wrote that a Korean team visited the upcoming hardware park at Naihati and was “highly optimistic” about Bengal being a future destination of hardware investments.