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Updated: June 22, 2011 01:50 IST

Mamata government seeks Somnath's advice

PTI
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West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee meets with former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee at his residence. A PTI file photo.
PTI West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee meets with former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee at his residence. A PTI file photo.

The former Lok Sabha Speaker, Somnath Chatterjee, whose advice the State Government welcomes on matters pertaining to development and planning, has doubts about the implementation of the new land policy.

He expressed his doubts to the State's Industries Minister, Partha Chatterjee, who called on him at his residence here on Tuesday at the behest of Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee.

“I expressed my doubts over whether the land policy [as proposed by the two-member committee] can be implemented,” he told The Hindu later in the day.

The committee on land had last week submitted to the Chief Minister its recommendations for a new land policy which includes a proposal stating that investors must buy land directly for the setting up of industry without the government being involved in the dealings.

Mr. Somnath Chatterjee told the Minister that he, however, understood the government's compulsions to frame a new land policy.

On whether or not he was willing to offer advice to the State government, Mr. Somnath Chatterjee said that he would if it helped in the development of West Bengal “but without assuming any formal position.”

“Whatever is done should be for the benefit of the State” said Mr. Somnath Chatterjee, who was expelled from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in July 2008.

He had served as chairman of the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation in the past.

Mr. Partha Chatterjee told journalists after meeting Mr. Somnath Chatterjee that the latter's advice was being sought on matters relating to planning and development in the State. “If he thinks there is any shortcoming on our part and has any advice to offer he may let the Chief Minister know, either directly or through me,” the Minister said.


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