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CPM scans Singur options

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BISWAJIT ROY Calcutta Published 05.10.08, 12:00 AM

Calcutta, Oct. 4: The CPM today began looking beyond the Nano, urging the Bengal government to use the acquired land for other industrial projects, preferably in the automobile sector.

State party secretary Biman Bose said no matter what, the government must ensure the industrialisation drive in Singur did not slow down.

“So what if the Nano project couldn’t happen? It was a time-bound project that couldn’t come up on time. But there may be possibilities for projects that aren’t time-bound.”

Bose said he could not say whether the Tatas would opt for another project in Singur because such things were not decided at Alimuddin Street. “But the government must focus on implementing other projects, come what may.”

Insiders said Bose’s words seemed a pointer to the party strategy to tackle the bad taste left by the Tata pullout.

“We want to dispel the impression that the pullout is the end of the world. Unfortunately, Ratan Tata failed to appreciate the huge political cost we have paid for Singur. We don’t want the party rank and file to be despondent and lose the political initiative against the Opposition,” a CPM state secretariat member said.

Yesterday, Bose had dubbed the pullout decision “hasty and unfortunate”. “No other investor or chamber of commerce has said they won’t invest here,” he said today.

Not all voices in the CPM sounded so optimistic, though. “It won’t be very difficult to get the land back from the Tatas if they don’t have plans for another project in Singur. But who will invest there after the senseless politics of the Opposition?” wondered secretariat member Madan Ghosh.

“Also, it makes no sense to ask other investors to go there without settling all disputes. Who knows if the same demand for return of 300 acres will not be repeated?”

Bose said the government should try to “accommodate” workers who had trained at Singur in other projects and compensate landlosers under the terms of the second package if they had applied on time.

He ticked off Trinamul for indulging in “destructive politics” marked by “bandhs and sieges, attacks and vandalism”, and hit out at the Congress for “echoing Trinamul”.

Bose then appealed to the people of Bengal to “come out” and ensure other projects did not go the Nano way.

He criticised governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi for writing to Tata while playing mediator between the chief minister and Mamata Banerjee.

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