For the first time since the Tata Nano controversy at Singur broke out in 2008 and subsequent defeat of the Left Front in West Bengal by Trinamool Congress, a senior minister of the TMC government on Friday visited a Tata Group company in Kharagpur.
West Bengal industry minister Partha Chatterjee on Friday inaugurated the new range of excavator series at the Kharagpur plant of the group’s construction equipment manufacturing arm Tata Hitachi, a 40:60 JV between Tata Motors (TML) and Japanese major Hitachi Construction Machinery (HCM).
While addressing a business chamber in Kolkata last week, Mr. Chatterjee had said selection of land in Singur for the Nano project was a fault of the erstwhile Left Front government and not of the Tatas.
There has been marked improvement in relations between the Tatas and the Trinamool Congress since Cyrus Mistry took charge of Bombay House last year.
Mr. Chatterjee had gone ahead and congratulated him on the day and had invited him to various industry meets of the state government.
Tata Hitachi MD Ranaveer Sinha, in his address said Mr. Chatterjee never came to visit the plant despite several invitations over the past two and half years since the Trinamool-led government took over.
“You had come to Kharagpur earlier in a neighbouring plant but unfortunately, could not find time to visit this one. So, it is a very memorable day for us. We are happy you are finally here,” he said.
“I am glad to be present on the launch of Tata Hitachi products,” Mr. Chatterjee said in his address.
“Only media see things in this way. We have always maintained that we have nothing against the Tatas,” the minister commented when asked about the first visit of any minister from the TMC government to a Tata plant.
After the TMC came to power, in 2012 a scheduled trip of some members of the standing committee of the state Assembly to the Tata Nano plant in Gujarat was cancelled at the last moment.