Pranab snubs critics of Mamata on Singur

Kolkata: Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today played down the criticism being faced by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for first announcing an ordinance and then saying a bill would be moved in the assembly to reclaim the 400 acre at Singur.

"So what? It's a good decision," Mukherjee told reporters in reply to a question before leaving for his Jangipur Lok Sabha constituency in Murshidabad district.

Pranab Mukherjee played the criticism of Mamata Banerjee's announcement down by saying it is a good move. Reuters

The chief minister had hurriedly announced an ordinance on Thursday for reclaiming 400 acre of land at the abandoned Tata Motors site, for farmers who had unwillingly parted with it.

Yesterday she had said that the government would table the land reclamation bill in the assembly session, which has been advanced to June 13 from June 24.

A left delegation led by Leader of the Opposition Surjyakanto Mishra had called on West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan yesterday and pointed out that such an ordinance could not be promulgated when the house was in session.

Banerjee had said since the government was committed to returning the land to unwilling farmers of Singur who have waited a long time for it, the assembly session has been preponed and the Singur bill would be tabled in the house.

Asked about the present status of the Lokpal bill and what the government was doing, Mukherjee, who is chairman of the joint committee for drafting it, said, "We are discussing it. It is in the process of discussion. Some meetings have taken place. There will be a couple of more meetings."

The move came on a day when a Left delegation led by leader of the opposition Surya Kanta Mishra met governor M K Narayanan and said it would not be proper to promulgate an ordinance when the assembly was in session.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said only one bill would be passed in the 'new session' and that was in the interest of the helpless farmers of Singur.

The first session of the newly-elected West Bengal assembly has been advanced by 12 days to enable the government to adopt the bill on Singur land.

The session would now start on June 13 instead of June 24, assembly secretariat sources said.

"It will be a totally new session of the House.... we attach utmost significance to the people of Singur who are in distress having lost their land. We can't waste valuable time and therefore the date of House session has been advanced," she told reporters at the Writers Buildings.

Banerjee yesterday announced promulgation of the ordinance, signed by Governor M K Narayanan, for reclaiming 400 acres of land at Singur.

She had said the remaining 600 acres would be kept reserved for industry and the Tatas could set up factory on that land, if they want.

PTI


Published Date: Jun 11, 2011 03:49 pm | Updated Date: Jun 11, 2011 03:50 pm