In response to the ‘Open Letter To The Citizens of West Bengal’ by Ratan Tata, published in all leading dailies of Bengal on 17th October as advertisement by Tata Motors, the Trinomul Congress party demanded an unconditional apology from Ratan Tata, failing which the party threatened to resort to judicial course for redress of grievances.
Explaining the circumstances under which Tata Motors have to exit Nano Project from Bengal, Rata Tata categorically said the followings in the letter so published: —
“Unfortunately, the confrontational actions by Trinaool Congress led by Ms. Mamata Banerjee and supported by vested interests and certain political parties, have caused serious disruptions to the progress of the Nano Plant.”
“Throughout the construction of the plant, constant acts of open aggression, occasional acts of violence, breakage of the compound perimeter walls, theft of construction materials, intimidation and even physical assault of employees, contract labors and residents of the area to be absorbed in the project. Country bombs have been lobbed into the premises, obstructing the movement of material and personnel in and out of the plant.”
“We believe the responsibility for all these would lie with the Trinamool Congress, which has created the hostile environment that has obliged (read ‘forced’) the company to move the project out from Singur.”
The above paragraphs are only a very small part of the letter which further asked the youth of Bengal to choose either rule of law, industrial growth, job creation and education on one hand OR lawlessness, violence, agitations and stagnancy on the other hand.
The letter ended with another round of choices for the Bengal people by saying: –
“The future destiny of West Bengal lies with its citizen. They will need to decide whether they wish to stand still and let the growth take place elsewhere, or move forward with the present government’s progressive policy, so that West Bengal can take its rightful place with other states- sharing in the future prosperity of India.”
It is the first paragraph (in italics and underlined) that has irked Mamata Banerjee most and her party heavy weight Partha Chatterjee said, “He (Ratan Tata) should come out with evidence and establish that Mamata had acted with vested interests. The onus lies with Tata. We demand an unconditional apology from him failing which we will take judicial recourse.”
The open letter of Ratan Tata was mildly criticized by the left front partners RSP and Forward Block while CPI remained mute. Subrata Mukherjee of Congress felt that it was not right for a businessman to speak in favor or against a party.