Mumbai,(The Hindu): The proposed west coast refinery and petrochemical complex in Konkan seems to be gaining a political mileage. Days after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray came out in support of the villagers protesting the project, Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha founder Narayan Rane on Friday announced his opposition.
Mr. Rane, who recently joined the NDA, chose to refrain from criticising the BJP, and instead targeted his arch-rival and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.
“The Sena holds the portfolio of industry. The party has a Lok Sabha MP and an MLA from the region. Mr. Thackeray had said that his party would not let this project come up. But, in reality, the Sena is pushing the project, betraying the Konkani voters who have stood with the party in all these years,” said Mr. Rane.
He referred to a statement by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis where he had said that the project was initially planned in Andhra Pradesh, and it was MP Vinayak Raut and Sena’s Union Minister Anant Geete, who brought the project here.
“The police and revenue officials in the region are working at the Sena’s behest. Party leaders have purchased large tracts of land which they want to sell and earn thousands of crores of rupees. I am warning the Sena to stop threatening the villagers, otherwise, they will be beaten up. We will not be responsible for the consequences,” said Mr. Rane. He claimed that local leader Ashok Valam was threatened by Mr. Thackeray at the latter’s residence, and asked to refrain from criticising Sena leaders.
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