West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee handed over land documents and cheques to the farmers in Singur but also firmly said that if company willing to set up auto firm in the state is, she’ll welcome them.
Handing over parchas and cheques following a Supreme Court order in this regard, Banerjee said, "We want industry but not through illegal means such as forcible land acquisition". 'Parcha' is a document which establishes the ownership of a farmer over a piece of land in revenue records.
She is the one who initiated massive agitation against the land acquisition for Tatas' nano car factory in Singur in 2006. Banerjee, who did the hunger strike to oppose the "forcible" acquisition, recounted the memories of the days of agitation.
"I was beaten up by the police at midnight at the BDO office and was admitted to nursing home in serious condition. I will never forget those incidents. UPA was in centre but they never came forward to help us," she said.
"I am giving a month's time to all the companies to think. We are ready to give 1,000 acre land at Goaltore (in Midnapore). If anyone, be it Tatas or BMW, wants to set up auto industry, they are welcome. We will be very happy," she said.
"We will keep the land and if they want to set up industry they may contact our Finance Minister Amit Mitra or the Chief Secretary. We have land at Kharagpur, Panagarh, and other places. Our message is very clear. We must set up industry but save the agriculture land," she said.
The Supreme Court ordered on August 31 that land acquisition process in Singur was faulty and not for public purpose. SC directed the state government to return the papers and chques to the farmers within 12 weeks.