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Mamata woos India Inc

Mumbai, Aug 5 () : Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal Chief Minister’s meeting with industry leaders in the business capital is a runaway hit as far as her party ministers and MPs are concerned.

Partha Banerjee, the WB Industries Minister and Derek Obrien say that the fact Mamata was on a plane to Mumbai barely 48 hours after her party swept the civic polls shows her seriousness to get investors. Mamata and Mukesh Ambani had a one-to-one talk.

Ambani told Mamata about his keenness to buy the WB Govt stake of 40% in HPL (Haldia Petrochemicals) and also told the Rs 3500 crore investment in fourth-generation (4G) telecom services being rolled out in WB. Over 5000 km would be used for laying optic fibre cables and as a first phase it started work on 300 km.

WB would see 3500 towers for the 4G services. ONGC, IOC along with private players Essar, Cairn and Reliance have placed bids for the State Government stakes that it wants to sell.

During the CPM rule, Ambani had met the CM and told him about his interest in HPL. WB which has an agreement with a TCG group by which the latter can have the right to refuse any offer to buy the stake could not get Ambani and Chatterjee of TCG on the same page. The feud has gone to the Supreme Court. TCG sought to move the International Arbitration court of the international chamber of commerce based in Paris. WB moved the High Court which struck down the TCG move. TCG has now appealed against the ruling in SC.

The Singur agitation against the Tata car plant had given Mamata an anti-industry tag. The State during the Left regime had given land to Tata to manufacture Nano car. The acquisition of farmers’ lands led to violent agitations with CPM supporting Tata and TMC’s alignment with the farmers. Finally, Tata moved away to Gujarat.