Protests have blocked construction of the factory to build the world’s cheapest car, but two opposing political parties are scheduled to meet this Friday to settle their beefs:
WSJ: The standoff over Tata Motors Ltd.’s new car plant in the state of West Bengal showed very early signs of a possible resolution when the two political parties at the centre of the dispute agreed to meet Friday.
Representatives of the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist), which supports the Tata plant, will meet with officials from the rival Trinamool Congress, which opposes it, at a meeting hosted by the state governor, Gopal Krishna Gandhi. It is unclear whether representatives from Tata will attend.
The meeting is designed to find a resolution to a standoff that has become an international embarrassment for West Bengal, and India in general, as it seeks to attract investment and speed industrialisation.
Meanwhile, Tata is keeping the pressure on by jawboning about alternative sites:
EconomicTimes: Sources close to Tatas said Pantnagar in Uttarakhand and Pune in Maharashtra were emerging as the most likely alternative locations. When contacted, a majority of vendors said they had “no option but to follow the Tatas in case of a pullout.” Around 60 vendors, who were set to make a collective Rs 500-crore investment at the site, would also suffer if the company shifted, the sources added.
A Tata Motors spokesperson said, “The situation around the Nano plant continues to be hostile and intimidating. There is no way this plant could operate efficiently unless the environment became congenial and supportive of the project. We came to West Bengal hoping we could add value, prosperity and create job opportunities in the communities in the state.”
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