Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee may be hardselling the state to investors but said today that the government cannot act as "brokers" and asked industrialists to buy land through negotiations directly for their projects.
"We are against forcible acquisition of land (for industries) and we continue to maintain our stand. The government cannot act as brokers or looters of land.
"Those industrialists who want to set up industry should buy land through peaceful negotiations directly," she told reporters here.
Government`s role in land acquisition leads to firing and involvement of `bad people`, she said.
She accused the erstwhile Left Front government of mishandling the land acquisition issue during its 34 years of rule which saw Singur and Nandigram episodes.
During LF rule 15,000 acres at Rajarhat (the satellite township adjoining Kolkata) were acquired from farmers forcibly, she charged.
"We do not want a repeat of the situation". The land at Rajarhat was taken away by the then government `secretly` and "unfortunately you (media) did not highlight this," she alleged.
Banerjee`s comments came days after former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee accused her government of driving away investors, jeopardising the state`s economy.