A day after Ratan Tata said he did not see much sign of industrial development in West Bengal, state industries and finance minister Amit Mitra hit back at Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons saying he was not briefed by his companies and should rather concentrate on his hobbies.
Tata on wednesday hit back for Mitra's remarks that he (Ratan Tata) was suffering from 'delusion' and he tweeted: "My comments yesterday referred to my drive from the airport to the Maurya (ITC Sonar) via Rajarhat. I saw lots of residential and commercial development but not much industrial development. I made no comment about the industrial development in the state. Mr. Amit Mitra's comments are therefore surprising.
"Mr. Mitra might believe I have "lost my mind". I would be delighted if he could show me what industrial development projects I missed while driving through Rajarhat. If he cannot, I would have to conclude that he has a very fertile imagination."
A more scathing attack, however, came from urban development and municipal affairs minister, Firhad Hakim. Hakim said, Tata had lost his mind...his chairmanship was also gone now. "Why does he not fight us in the political field," Hakim said.
Earlier on Wednesday evening during an interactive session organised by the Ladies Study Group of Indian Chamber of Commerce , Ratan Tata had said, It has been about two years since I came to Kolkata. . . While driving from Rajarhat, I saw it is an unbelievable change in terms new buildings. But it still looks like a countryside, under development. . ."I do not see much signs of industrial development."
Tata took a tough call to shift the Nano plant from Singur in West Bengal to Sanand in Gujarat in October 2008 after Mamata Banerjee, who was then in the Opposition, led an indefinite agitation against the project.
The Nano project in West Bengal was announced in May 2006, immediately after Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was sworn in as the state's chief minister for the second time.
Soon, unwilling land losers at the project site, started protesting against the project. Their cause was supported by Banerjee.
Eventually, it led to the relocation of the project in October 2008, when the plant was nearly 80 per cent complete. It also routed the Left Front from power in the Assembly elections of 2011 while resurrecting Banerjee's political career.
Top image: Ratan Tata at Cornell University. Bottom image: West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra. ' Photograph: Rediff Archive