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regular-article-logo Monday, 20 May 2024

Will bring back Tatas to Singur if BJP comes to power in state, says Locket Chatterjee

Mamata Banerjee has turned Singur into a graveyard of employment and economic activity: Locket

PTI Calcutta Published 14.04.24, 01:08 PM
Locket Chatterjee

Locket Chatterjee File photo

BJP MP Locket Chatterjee, who is seeking re-election from West Bengal's Hooghly Lok Sabha constituency, said the party will bring back the Tatas to Singur if elected to power in the state.

"We are confident of victory in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. We anticipate securing more seats than our previous count of 18 in 2019. Once we win the polls comprehensively, the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government will collapse in the state. After the BJP government comes to power, our first job will be to invite the Tatas to Singur, which falls under Hooghly constituency." The actor-turned leader, who had forayed into politics as a TMC member and joined the BJP in 2015 following differences, said, "Whenever I visit Singur, people urge me to help them get jobs. Mamata Banerjee has turned Singur into a graveyard of employment and economic activity." Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has betrayed both farmers and industries in the name of Singur agitation, she said.

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Singur, once known for multiple crop farming, hogged the limelight after Tata Motors set its sight on the area to set up its cheapest car manufacturing unit, Nano, in 2006. The then Left Front government acquired 997.11 acres along National Highway 2 and handed it over to the company.

Leading from the front, the then opposition leader and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee had then called for a 26-day hunger strike, demanding the return of 347 acres of land that were apparently forcibly acquired. Despite several emissaries and meetings between the TMC and the Left Front government, no solution was reached; Tatas moved out of Singur and built the plant in Gujarat.

Chatterjee said the imprisonment of three Trinamul Congress leaders in corruption cases in contrast with good governance of Modi government will reflect in the votes as "common people are watching everything." Asked about TMC's showcasing the 'Lakshmir Bhandar' project as Mamata Banerjee's commitment to women empowerment, she said, "The roar in Sandeshkhali has been felt across West Bengal. The way women in that area came out holding 'kataris' (daggers) to save their honour, it is now clear to the TMC that distressed women will not take such atrocities lying down." Taking a dig at the Lakshmir Bhandar project, Chatterjee said, "On one hand, you (Mamata) are promising to support the Lakshmis of households with Rs 500-Rs 1000, on the other your goons are lifting Lakshmis at night and violating them." Asked about her TMC rival Rachana Banerjee, the actress-turned-BJP-candidate said, "I have nothing personal against her. Yes, we had worked as colleagues in the past." "People of Bengal are politically conscious. Their decision to vote is not weighed by factors like someone waving hands, someone smiling or coming down straight from the sets of reality show," Chatterjee said. Rachana, a political greenhorn, hosts the popular Bengali gameshow Didi No. 1.

"After joining BJP, I had actively taken part in political activities, demonstrations, outreach programmes for over a year. After that I was fielded by my party first in an assembly poll which I could not win. But I kept working at the grassroots level for years and took part in organisational activities," she added.

"If you have to work for people, if you have to join politics, you must be prepared to leave everything," Chatterjee, who had turned up in films like Mayer Anchal, Shubhodristi, Poran Jaye Jolia Re, Hello Memsaheb, Gosaibaganer Bhoot among other hits, said.

Chatterjee said, "Despite false propaganda and conspiracies by the TMC, a slew of development measures by Modi - from free ration to introduction of Vande Bharat Express, from underwater Metro to farmers projects, will reflect in the ballot box as people will root for Sushasan (good governancee) rejecting Aposashan (mis-governance)."

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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