Look to invest in Bengal, but opportunities have to show themselves: Tatas

Kolkata, Aug 24 (IANS) Nearly eight years after its small car project was driven out of West Bengal, the Tata Group on Wednesday said it was looking for an investment opportunity in the eastern state, but “the opportunities have to show themselves”.

Responding to queries by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting of the Tata Global Beverages, Tata Sons’ Chairman Cyrus P. Mistry said: “We look for the opportunity to invest in Bengal. When the opportunity does come, we look at that actively.

“I think the opportunities have to show themselves, and when they do, irrespective of the political environment, we will make the decision to invest,” Mistry said, when asked about the group’s investment interests in the state.

The Tatas’ pet project to bring out the small car Nano from a plant in Hooghly district’s Singur had to be aborted following an intense and often violent peasant protests led by the then principal opposition Trinamool Congress which alleged a part of the land had been forcibly taken from peasants by the Left Front government of the day.

Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee went on a 26-day hunger strike in December 2006, demanding the state government return 400 acres – out of the total project area of 997.11 acres – to the peasants as it had acquired the land against their will.

Banerjee later staged a sit-in near the project site, forcing then Tata Sons’ chairman Ratan Tata to announce on October 3, 2008, it would pull out from Singur, and relocate to Sanand in Gujarat.

Tata had then blamed Banerjee and her party for the “painful decision”.

The Trinamool has been ruling the state since 2011, with Banerjee as the chief minister, but the relations between the Tatas and the Trinamool have remained frosty till date.



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