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Just an SMS brought Nano to Gujarat: Modi

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Re one is all that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi invested and in return he earned a mind-boggling Rs 2,000 crore investment for his state, a political coup against the Left parties and Tatas' gratitude.

Reciprocating the sentiment, Tata Group supremo Ratan Tata said: "We belong to Gujarat. We had gone out and now we have come back here."

Summing up Nano's journey from West Bengal in the east to Gujarat on the west coast, Modi said: "When Ratan Tata said in a press conference in Kolkata that they are leaving West Bengal, I sent him a short SMS saying welcome to Gujarat.

"And now you can see what a Re one (worth) SMS can do." However, what remains unsaid at this juncture was a host of concessions, financial incentives, huge piece of land and above all, an insurance against any political resistance. No wonder, the state of the art production facility was erected from scratch in less than two years, against months long agony Tatas faced in Singur, West Bengal, ruled by Left parties.

Tata Motors was forced to quit Singur where it planned to set up the mother plant for its people's car Nano, following fierce opposition to land acquisition from locals led by Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee.

Tata said his ancestors came to India from Iran and found refuge in what is modern Gujarat.

The new plant was inaugurated today by Modi and Tata. The event was wound up mid-way due to a strong dust storm. "We decided that we would locate it in a part of the country, which we felt could benefit from this (Nano project).

Unfortunately that was not to happen and we had to move the plant under duress," Tata said referring to its unceremonious exit from West Bengal in October 2008.

"We searched for another home for Nano and we wanted to be sure that we could move in peace and harmony, and be able to establish new home for the plant... Modi stood out among all the others in guaranteeing us whatever we needed. It was not just our project, we felt that it was of Gujarat government and Tatas'... We owe you a debt of gratitude." He added.

The Sanand facility, built at a cost of Rs 2,000 crore, has a manufacturing capacity of 2.5 lakh units annually, scalable up to five lakh units per annum. Pilot commercial production of Nano at Sanand has already begun.

"When I came here first on an industry visit, invited by Gujarat Chief Minister, I was told that if it (the Nano plant) is not in Gujarat, I will be a stupid.

"I am no longer stupid after investing on the plant in Gujarat," Tata said, inaugurating the plant.



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