The Communist Party of India (CPI) today conceded that the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government of West Bengal had committed a mistake in 2006 in the land acquisition process in Singur to facilitate Tata’s Nano project.
The CPI also acknowledged that the land acquisition created a negative impression" of the Left Front's attitude towards farmers which benefitted Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee.
Responding to queries on the Supreme Court verdict which, on Wednesday, quashed the entire land acquisition process, CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy today said that the Left Front government’s mistake cost Bengal a big industry.
"She (Mamata Banerjee) was successful in creating a negative impression about the Left but on the whole, Bengal lost (a big industry). I believe that even in the coming period, there will be a negative impact (on industrial investment)," he said.
"Though the government had taken over the land with the good intention of bringing in a big industry which would have provided employment and revenue to the state, but the method adopted was not correct," he said.
"They (the Left government) should have convinced the peasants. Those who did not want (to give land), should have been given alternative lands and more compensation (should have been paid) and all that. Unfortunately, the government there made a mistake," he said.
Reddy, however, said there was no need now to offer an apology to the affected farmers since the intention of the then government to bring in the industry was good.
"We should certainly take lessons. This type of a mistake should not be committed. When a private entity is to start an industry, the government can subsidise and if necessary, it should be asked to provide more money," he said.
Reddy said though Mamata Banerjee was successful in creating a negative impression about the Left by seizing on the issue, on the whole Bengal lost (a big industry).
"I believe that even in the coming period, there will be a negative impact (on industrial investment)," he said.
"Instead of asking for the land to be given back to the farmers, she should have asked for better things such as land-for-land, more compensation, employment for those displaced and compensation for agricultural labourers. But instead, she went for a political fight," Reddy added.
(With PTI inputs)