Reiterating her promise to the people of Singur to return their land, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged them on Saturday not to lose hope.
“I believe that reneging on promises is a crime. I have given my word that the people in Singur will get their land back. As the matter is in court, we are unable to do so. Their honour [their land] will be restored to them,” she said while addressing a rally at Dhanekhali in Hooghly district.
The agitation against land acquisition at the (now relocated) Tata Motors small car site had brought Ms. Banerjee to political prominence in the State.
However, of late, signs of discontent among the villagers have been evident with the Singur MLA and Minister Rabindranath Bhattacharya expressing his dissent against the Trinamool Congress government and suggesting that talks with the Tatas could break the logjam.
“The matter is being heard before the Supreme Court… You will have to hold onto your hopes,” Ms. Banerjee told the gathering.
She said the State government had announced a monthly stipend of around Rs. 3000 to about 3,659 families at Singur.
“We have no objection to industry being set up on the 600 acres but the remaining 400 should be returned to the people,” Ms. Banerjee said, adding that she is not against industry.