“Onar motibhrom hoyeche (Maybe he has lost his mind). Maybe he hasn’t got the information. I don’t know why he said this. TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) has said it will create 20,000 jobs in a new campus. Maybe he hasn’t kept tabs. Tata Metallicks applied to us last week. They want to expand. Doesn’t he know Anil Ambani is investing here? If I give you a list, it will take all day. Perhaps he should concentrate on his other hobbies like flying planes.” Mr Mitra said.
The minister was speaking on the sidelines of an industry meet on Wednesday, hours after Mr Tata made comments critical of Bengal and his experience in Singur, where a farmers’ agitation backed by Mamata Banerjee forced him to shift the Tata Nano plant to Gujarat.
Mr Tata, the 73-year-old Chairman Emeritus of the Tata Group, said at an interaction in Kolkata that his company’s decision to shift the Nano plant was a prudent move and described it as the biggest challenge he faced in his career.
“In hindsight, it was a prudent decision given the hostile circumstances in Singur. But that move gave us a high negative cost,” Mr Tata shared.
“If you hold a gun to my head, you can pull the trigger or take the gun away. But the head will not move,” he added, explaining why he shut the Bengal plant in 2008.
Three years after the Singur row, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress took power in Bengal with a massive mandate.
Asked to comment on whether he had noticed any changes since then, M Tata said, “While driving from Rajarhat, it is unbelievable to see new buildings coming up. But it still looks like a countryside, undeveloped. I do not see much signs of industrial development.”
The BJP in Bengal used the industrialist’s observations to target the state government. “Driving by Tata Motors’ abandoned factory at Singur. What a HORRIBLE message abt West Bengal was sent out to the country!” said the party’s Tathagata Roy.