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Home > Business > Business Headline > Report

Let's embrace industry for people's sake: Bhattacharya

Indrani Roy Mitra in Medinipore | February 11, 2007 17:38 IST

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Peaceful development of industries is what we aim at, not illegal acquisition of land through coercion, said West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharya while addressing a rally at Heria village near Tamluk in Medinipore on Sunday afternoon.

"Progress of the state is what we want. If other parts of the state and the country show remarkable growth, would it be fair to leave Nandigram or Singur behind," he asked.

Though the chief minister's speech was marked by usual spontaneity and vigour, one could easily read an underlying note of justification. This was but natural at a time when Bhattacharya's men are being accused of using force to make farmers sell their lands.

This compromising tone was also heard when the chief minister's convoy was stalled by people's gathering 8 km away from the venue. Throwing security out of gear, Bhattacharya got down from his car and interacted with the people to understand the cause of their grievances.

"Progress can never be achieved through force, growth can never result from coercion," he said at the rally later. "If people at Nandigram want to thwart progress, it's their choice. We don't want to impose our thoughts on them. We will
bring industrial development into the area only if people so want. If they dig up roads to prevent our entry, we have to abide by their wish."

Dismissing the opposition Trinamool Congress's claims that farmers were forced to sell their lands in Singur, the chief minister said, "People queued up at the BDO office for the deal and collected their cheques. Therefore, question of compulsion does not arise at all."

Mentioning that agricultural production in areas like Singur and Nandigram is on the wane, Bhattacharya said, "It's time we embraced industry. If we turn a blind eye to this necessity, we will be cheating ourselves. Let's be honest and take the plunge."

West Bengal, the chief minister said, has come a long way as far as industrial growth is concerned and now the responsibility lies on the people to take it to the next level. "It will be sad if they fail to do it," Bhattacharya said.

Stressing on repeated acts of violence that have taken place in Singur and Nandigram, the chief minister said, "The people have often being misled and instigated into taking on the government.

"They have been deliberately misinformed about our intentions. What people often fail to realise that if the Tatas come to Singur, they will improve the area tenfold. If a chemical hub is set up at Nandigram, it will go a long way in developing the economy of the area."