Wants land acquisition halted in Singur before talks

Our Bureau

Ms Medha Patkar demanded a national debate on land use policy in West Bengal and called for a people's movement on the issue.

Kolkata, Dec. 8

The political impasse over the issue of acquisition of farmland in Singur for the Tata small car project continues with the Trinamool Congress leader, Ms Mamata Banerjee, refusing to call off her indefinite fast despite a written request that was made today by the West Bengal Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

Ms Banerjee's indefinite fast to protest against the acquisition of farmland in Singur for the Tata small car project entered its fifth day today. Mr Bhattacharjee sent a letter on Friday through a senior police officer to Ms Banerjee requesting her to call off her fast and come to him for discussions on the matter. In the letter, Mr Bhattacharjee stated he was willing to discuss with her matters pertaining to Singur and industrialisation of the State.

Reply to Letter

In her reply to the Chief Minister's letter, Ms Banerjee stated that the State administration has to first withdraw prohibitory orders that have been imposed in Singur under Sec 144 CrPC and put a halt to acquisition of land for the Tata project before she could be expected to discuss with Mr Bhattacharjee the issues veering round Singur.

Ms Banerjee's reply to Mr Bhattacharjee's letter was delivered at the Chief Minister's Secretariat by Mr Saugata Ray, a Trinamool Congress MLA.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 9, 2006)
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