WB Housing Minister threatened me: Mamata

Railways Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee alleged late Wednesday that West Bengal Housing Minister Goatam Deb had threatened her over phone during her anti-land acquisition agitation in Singur two years back.

Last Updated: Nov 04, 2010, 10:09 AM IST

Kolkata: Railways Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee alleged late Wednesday that West Bengal Housing Minister Goatam Deb had threatened her over phone during her anti-land acquisition agitation in Singur two years back.

"During the days of the Singur movement, Housing Minister Goutam Deb used to talk to me over phone on behalf of Chief Minister (Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee) purportedly to find some solution with regard to our demands.

"But one day this gentleman called me and asked me not to hold a meeting at Singur on a particular day. He threatened me that he and his party (Communist Party of India - Marxist) would not allow me to hold the meeting at Singur. He said we have to abide by their instructions," Mamata Banerjee said in an interview to the private Bengali news channel Star Ananda.

Banerjee and her party had led an intense anti-land acquisition movement against the Tata Motor`s small car Nano project in Singur in Hooghly district, which forced the automobile giant to move the plant to Gujrat`s Sanand.

Banerjee had also undertaken a 26-day fast in the city hub Metro Channel demanding the state government return the land "forcibly" taken for the project from farmers unwilling to part with it.
"He (Deb) said the Congress always heeded to such instructions and we have to do the same. At that time I told him that my party is Trinamool Congress not Congress and I will abide by the words of common people, not by the words of the atrocious CPI-M," said Banerjee.

Banerjee had held a meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattcharjee Sep 12, 2008 at Kolkata Information Centre to resolve the Singur turmoil.
Prior to that, Bhattacharjee and Banerjee had met face-to-face under the mediation of then state governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi but both the meetings failed to break the ice.

Banerjee also alleged that the CPI-M leaders had illegally grabbed acres of land from the farmers at Rajarhat - New Town area in the northeastern fringes of the city.

IANS