The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Journey starts in people’s car
Subhasda, you are the man of the match. Well done
— Sitaram Yechury to Subhas Chakraborty at the swearing-in

Calcutta, May 18: “How’s the beginning'” Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee asked, flashing a wide smile, Ratan Tata to his left with a promise of Rs 1,250 crore on his lips.

The question was: How many big deals had the chief minister lined up for the future'

The beginning was rich. But it was not about pelf alone. There were people, too, not referred to by the politician but the businessman.

“We scanned the country and looked at various locations before deciding to locate this rather revolutionary project which will give India’s truly people’s car here in Bengal,” Tata said.

“People’s car” from a Marxist-ruled state sounds nice, possibly appropriate too, symbolising the Left’s journey from land reforms to what it stands for today. “You can all buy one,” said the chief minister, addressing the “people” present ' journalists.

On the day of Bhattacharjee’s swearing-in, Tata announced two projects ' the Rs 1-lakh car and a factory to make payloaders, as reported in this newspaper earlier.

Venugopal Dhoot, of Videocon, followed with projects worth Rs 900 crore, an IT park at Salt Lake with space to seat 25,000 people and an LCD television unit at Taratola.

That makes it Rs 2,150 crore on Buddhadeb’s first business day, though some expressed doubts if Videocon’s IT park would entail an outlay of Rs 800 crore. They said a more realistic figure would be a maximum of Rs 300 crore.

Even that is not too bad.

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