Konkan project : Narayan Rane hits out at Shiva Sena for ‘doublespeak’

first_imgPune: Former Chief Minister and Maharashtra Swabhiman Party (MSP) chief Narayan Rane on Friday once again attacked Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray over the upcoming mega refinery in Konkan’s Ratnagiri district. “I do not care how many cases are lodged against me… But I will continue my protest until this project is cancelled,” said Mr. Rane, speaking in Rajapur to display solidarity with families displaced by the project. Opposed by villagersThe project is being opposed by more than 3,000 residents of around 15 villages in Rajapur taluk. Locals allege that the project, if implemented, will ruin 14,000 hectares of fertile land besides the thriving mango and cashew nut cultivation for which the region is famous. The mega refinery and petrochemical complex project, set to come up in Rajapur, has already kicked off a political storm, with the Sena at loggerheads with its ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), over the project pegged at ₹1.5 trillion. “The Sena is merely pretending to oppose the project and take sides with the afflicted families. Show me proof that the Sena is truly against the project, and I will quit politics,” Mr. Rane said attacking the Sena for its ‘doublespeak’ over the mega project. He also warned the district authorities against interfering with the agitation. Resistance from partyThe Konkan strongman, who first made his political fortunes with the Shiv Sena, joined the Congress only to quit it in October last year in the hope of securing a cabinet berth in the BJP-led government in the State. However, he faces fierce opposition from the Sena. In December last year, Union Heavy Industries Minister and senior Shiv Sena leader Anant Geete had criticised Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over the project and declared that the Sena would vociferously oppose it.“We are against the project as locals people are opposing it. Many people would have to be displaced during the land acquisition process and this is not acceptable,” Mr. Geete had said at the time and termed the project as “erroneous”. The minister had lambasted Mr. Fadnavis over media reports quoting the Chief Minister saying that Mr. Geete and the Sena MP from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg Vinayak Raut had requested the refinery project.last_img

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