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 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 with 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 the Trinamool came to power.
Asked regarding Mr. Roy’s resignation, Mr. Chatterjee told journalists 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 advisor 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.
Congress leader Omprakash Mishra said many others would also quit their posts as the government had made very little progress in attracting investments.
“The Trinamool government has neither a proper land policy nor a policy to attract industries. In this situation, is not possible for people like Mr. Roy to continue their work,” Rahul Sinha, State BJP president, said.
Seven former Union Ministers from the Trinamool, including Mr. Roy, were made advisors to various departments in October 2012 after the party had withdrawn support to the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre in September.