The chief of India's Tata Group said Wednesday his company has no intention of scaling back its plans for a new car factory in eastern India, despite widespread local opposition and a prolonged hunger strike by a politician opposed to the project.
The government of West Bengal state is planning to sell fertile agricultural land to Tata Motors Ltd., a division of Tata Group, for a factory to make small cars, a plan that has sparked repeated protests from farmers and opposition politicians, who earlier this month ransacked parts of the state legislature.
The leader of the opposition Trinamul Congress party, Mamta Banerjee, has even been on a hunger strike for 24 days to protest the planned factory.
But Tata on Wednesday made it clear it intends to go ahead with plans for the new factory.
"I think the West Bengal government has been very steadfast in its support of the project and I think it would be wrong for us to say that we will pull out and go," Rattan Tata, the group's chief, said in an interview broadcast by the New Delhi Television news channel.
He called West Bengal, a state governed by communists, "investment friendly."
Tata Group is one of India's leading business conglomerates with interests spanning steel, software services, hotels, chemicals and insurance. Its vehicle division, Tata Motors Ltd., makes cars, buses and trucks and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.