Differences with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the issue of land for industry may have prompted senior Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy to quit as adviser to the West Bengal Industries, Commerce and Information Technology departments.

While Mr. Roy, who was entrusted with drafting an industrial policy, refused to comment on his resignation, senior leaders in the party said on Thursday that he had sent his resignation to the Chief Minister on Wednesday evening.

His recent remark that “there is no scope to bring big industries to the State” because of paucity of land and the Government’s policy on land acquisition was in sharp contrast to the claims of Ms. Banerjee and Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee. Both of them are maintaining that proposals for investments of over Rs.2 lakh crore in the State have been made since Trinamool came to power.

Asked about Mr. Roy’s resignation, Mr. Chatterjee said here on Thursday that he had “no information as yet”, and “there is no difference between us”. Mr. Roy “is a veteran leader of the Trinamool,” he added.

However, Opposition leaders said Mr. Roy had to quit for having tried to give the Government some “rational” suggestions for attracting big investments.

“The adviser lost his job for giving proper advice,” said Communist Party of India (Marxist) Central Committee member Mohd. Salim.

“What he said was correct but in the party [Trinamool] if something is not in agreement with Ms. Banerjee’s views then such is the fate people have to suffer,” Mr. Salim said.

Industry unhappy: Page 5

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