Published On: Wed, Aug 31st, 2016

Had tears of joy, now can die in peace: Mamata

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday hailed the Supreme Court’s order setting aside the land acquisition for the Tata Motors’ Nano project as a “landmark victory”, adding that she had “tears of joy” on learning about the decision and can now “die in peace”.

She later travelled to the rural pocket and laid siege on the factory for 14 days in 2008

She later travelled to the rural pocket and laid siege on the factory for 14 days in 2008

“This is a landmark victory. We have been waiting for this day for ten long years, This is a victory of the people, victory of Ma, Mati Manush (Mother, land and people — Banerjee’s pet slogan),” an elated Banerjee told media persons at the state secretariat Nabanna.

“The people of Singur suffered so much, they endured so much torture, but they never left me. I have tears of joy in my eyes. Returning land to the farmers of Singur was one promise my government could not fulfil so far. But now we can return the land,” she added.

Earlier in the day, the apex court set aside the acquisition of land by the previous Left Front government in the state for the Nano car plant in Singur of Hooghly district, saying due processes and procedures were not followed. it also decreed that land has to be given back to the farmers within 12 weeks.

Then the state’s principal opposition leader, the Trinamool Congress chief had undertaken a 26-day hunger strike in Kolkata in December 2006, against the “forcible land acquisition” in Singur, and demanding 400 acres taken from farmers unwilling to part with their land be returned to them.

She later travelled to the rural pocket and laid siege on the factory for 14 days in 2008.

The Tata group then moved the project out of the state and finally set it up in Sanand in Gujarat, on land assigned to them by the state’s then investor-friendly Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

“The acquisition was wrong and it was a historical suicide,” Banerjee said, attacking the erstwhile Left Front regime.

In contrast, Banerjee said her government never acquired land forcibly, and even for public purposes like roads and railway infrastructure it negotiated with all stakeholders.

“It was because of our movement that the draconian 1894 law on land acquisition was changed. Now this verdict has yet again proved the success of our anti-land acquisition movement,” she said.

Banerjee said her government would obey the court order fully and a strategy meeting has been called on Thursday to decide on the follow-up action.

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