The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Trinamul face on Buddha dais
Trinamul MLA Sital Sardar and Bhattacharjee at the event.
Telegraph picture

Sankrail, July 3: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today had unlikely company at an investment event: a Trinamul Congress MLA.

Sital Kumar Sardar, the MLA representing Howrah’s Sankrail, is probably the first Trinamul leader to share a dais with the chief minister after the Opposition party began its Singur agitation.

The meeting was organised to mark the opening of a hydraulic plant by a German company.

Bhattacharjee noticed that Sardar was on the dais and immediately said: “I am happy that the Assembly member from the Opposition is here.” Turning to Sardar, seated in a corner, he added: “I want to build a consensus on industry.”

Sardar, however, echoed his leader Mamata Banerjee when his reaction was sought. “You see, we are not against industry. Only, industries must come up on sites earmarked for them.”

The Rs 25-crore hydraulic plant will come up on less than an acre, about 30km from Calcutta, on NH-2. It’s the first investment in India by Hunger Hydraulics, a medium-scale German company. The plant will be developed by the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation.

“The site is meant only for industry. They (the government) took the land sometime ago. I welcome the German company here,” Sardar said, adding that “the local people should get jobs”.

The Trinamul MLA didn’t get to speak at the meeting, though.

In Delhi, asked about Sardar’s presence at the event, Mamata said: “I don’t know the details of the incident. So I won’t comment on it till I find out exactly what had happened.”

The Trinamul chief has taken her agitation against land acquisition to the capital after a deadlock in compensation talks.

At the meeting, Bhattacharjee regretted that a consensus on industrialisation had eluded him.

In Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, he said, the Opposition and the ruling parties stood united on industrialisation.

“When a project comes up, all parties reach a consensus. There will always be politics but not at the cost of development,” Bhattacharjee said.

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