The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cabinet starts with a bang

Calcutta, May 31: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee used the weapon of surprise today to get his cabinet to give shotgun clearance to proposals to acquire some 38,000 acres for industrial and infrastructure projects.

The industries department, headed by Nirupam Sen, worked late yesterday to get ready 10 additional items to be put on the agenda at the last minute. One of these was the Tata Motors car project at Singur, which has been at the centre of a controversy over farmers’ protests against land acquisition.

Also on the agenda was the Tatas’ second project, a payloader unit that group company Telcon will put up on 250 acres at Kharagpur.

The chief minister secured his colleagues’ consent by telling them how important it was to put out a positive signal to the outside world. “We have to acquire this land. If investors turn away from Bengal because we refuse them land, it will send a very negative message outside,” he said.

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