Three years after then Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had attacked the Tata Motors plant in Sanand in Gujarat, today Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury praised the plant, calling it a “model for development”. The leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha made the comments while attacking the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal.
While Chowdhury praised the Sanand plant to attack the TMC govt to show how Gujarat benefitted for the action of Mamata Banerjee driving out Tata Motors from Singur in West Bengal, he ended up contradicting his own leader.
Chowdhury said that “Congress never supports how Tata plant was uprooted from Singur after spending Rs 1000 crores of state’s money to set up the infrastructure for the project.” He added, “Alternative site in Sanand, Gujarat, has become such a model for development in the country”.
Tata Motors was allocated land at West Bengal by the Buddhadeb Bhattacharya to set up a greenfield automobile manufacturing plant to make the ambitious Nano car. But the project had faced a massive protest from farmers led by then opposition leader Mamata Banerjee. Due to the protests, Tata Motors had decided to shift the plant to Sanand in Gujarat, after several states had invited the company to set up the plant.
In November 2017, Rahul Gandhi had attacked the plant, terming it a failure as the Nano car had failed. Alleging that Gujarat govt had given a grant of Rs 33,000 to the company for the plant, he had said Nano cars are not seen in the roads.
Rahul Gandhi had also alleged that the Rs 33,000 crores of Gujarati taxpayer money had turned to ash, as dealers had stopped placing orders for the Nano car due to its poor demand in the market.
Like every claim with big numbers, this was also a big lie by Rahul Gandhi, as Gujarat govt didn’t give any grant to Tata Motors. Instead, the state govt had given a loan of Rs 456.79 crore to the company. The low-interest loan was given as an incentive to the company, as several state governments had invited the company with similar attractive offers.
Although it is correct that by 2017, Nano cars had almost disappeared from roads, it didn’t mean that the Sanand plant was a failure. Tata Motors has come a long way from the days of Indica and Nano, which now has a wide portfolio of passenger cars in various categories, apart from a vast commercial vehicle portfolio. The company makes its Tiago and Tigor cars in the plant. The Tigor Electric Car is also manufactured in this plant. In September last year, the company had announced that the 3,00,000th Tiago had rolled out from the plant.
The plant was already making these cars when Rahul Gandhi had termed the plant a failure. But now his own leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury acknowledged the success of the plant, calling it a model of development.