Sena leader 'cancels' Nanar land acquisition, CM differs

Clay Curtis
April 24, 2018

When contacted for reaction, the Shiv Sena said it wasn't opposing the project.

The fracas between National Democratic Alliance partners Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena was exposed again Monday.

The villagers urged for a cancellation of the project and threatened to boycott Thackeray's public meeting.

Meanwhile, contesting a statement made by Maharashtra Industries Minister Subhash Desai of the Shiv Sena that the original notification permitting the state government to acquire the land for the project, the chief minister said: "Whatever Desai has said is not the state government's opinion". The government will decide its stance after taking into consideration the well-being of Maharashtra and its people. "But, we have organic relations in Konkan and we shall never let the project to come up here", Thackeray said. "These are not farmers, but middlemen", he said. He said: "When state industries minister Subhash Desai has said there will be no land acquisition for the project, the topic of whether Nanar will stay or go is irrelevant".

The integrated refinery and petrochemicals project, called the Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd, will be jointly developed by a consortium of Indian oil marketing companies - Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation - and the Saudi Arabian Oil Co. We shall not let it come up anywhere in Maharashtra, let alone Nanar. What kind of government is this where a bureaucratic committee has powers and not the minister?

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Addressing a public rally at Nanar, Uddhav charged that a major land scam had taken place a Nanar ahead of the Centre's announcement to locate the oil refinery project at Nanar.

Jondhale said while the Congress and the NCP are also opposing the project to target the BJP-led government, it can be viewed as hypocrisy, as it was the previous Congress-NCP regime that was pushing for the Jaitapur nuclear power project despite people's opposition.

Desai said: "I am announcing something here with Uddhavji's permission. Refinery project has been cancelled and you can live happily now". It is believed that this project will generate one lakh jobs and rope in an investment of up to ₹1 lakh crore. "Various political parties are trying to malign the Sena, but we are with the people of the state", the minister claimed, adding that the Sena's founder late Bal Thackeray had given him the definition of development - he said that "if something is against the people, it is not development". "Modi, Jain, Shah, and people with other such [sur] names have purchased land here", he alleged.

Thackeray, who is on a one-day visit to Nanar, addressed a rally there, where he promised that the project would not take off. Locals allege that the project, if implemented, could ruin 14,000 hectares of fertile land besides the thriving mango and cashew nut cultivation for which the region is famous.

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