Even before the Supreme Court has pronounced its judgement on the Singur land return issue, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seems absolutely convinced that the verdict will go in her favour. Didi sounded quite gung-ho about the apex court’s likely verdict when she claimed on Friday that the 400 acres of land,which was with the state government, would be returned to the farmers.
In 2007, the erstwhile CPM-led Left Front (LF) Government had given 997 acres of land to auto major Tata Motors for setting up its manufacturing plant for Nano cars. However, in the face of massive protests spearheaded by Didi against the land acquisition, Tata Motors was forced to relocate its plant to Sanand in Gujarat in 2008. Soon after the TMC came to power in 2011, Mamata had promised to return the land to the farmers who had unwillingly parted with it. Further, the state government had passed the Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011 to vest the land leased out to Tata Motors. But in June, a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court had aside the Single Bench order after terming the Act unconstitutional and void. Following this, the state government approached the Supreme Court which stayed the HC order.
Didi’s comment on a subject that is sub-judice drew flak from the Opposition parties. “Before the court passes (its) judgement you can’t say what the verdict will be. The CM can be held in contempt of court,” said Abdul Mannan, Congress leader. According to CPM Politburo member and Leader of Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra,”we (the CPM-led Left bloc)have said this before that the Singur Act is unconstitutional. The CM should understand that if every day she says things that can be mocked (at), then the government loses its credibility”.