The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday said that the Budhadeb Bhattacharya-led CPI-M government had not acquired the Singur land in West Bengal for any "personal gain", and that it had never opposed returning the same to farmers after the proposed Tata Nano car project could not come up on it.
Reacting to the Supreme Court’s order of Wednesday, wherein the apex court quashed the decision of the CPI-M government in 2006 to acquire 1,000 acres of land in Singur for allotting it to a private company, Senior party leader Nilotpal Basu said that the land acquisition was done in "good faith".
"We did it keeping in mind that employment was required. We did not do it for any personal gain," Basu said.
On whether the CPI-M has any regret on acquisition of the land, Nilotpal Basu said that there was none as it was done to strengthen the economy of the state and to generate employment for people there.
"Why do we regret? To sustain the economy you have to have industry," he said, adding that ever since it became clear that there would be no industry on the acquired land, the party had never opposed the idea of giving it back to whom it belonged.
"In 2011 when Trinamool Congress government was formed in West Bengal, we told them that they could return the land if they so desired," he said.
Asked if the land acquisition cost CPI-M its government, Basu said: "I don’t think so," and added that there were various reasons for it.
"Over 80 percent people of the state supported the acquisition," he said.
He also criticized the BJP-led NDA government, saying it was not fulfilling its promises made before elections in 2014.