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The Shiv Sena, which is a partner in the state government, today vowed that it would not allow the setting up of a mega-refinery in Nanar in Ratnagiri, the go-ahead for which was given by the Union government yesterday.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, in a statement today, said his party would not allow the project to take off "under any circumstance", adding that it would destroy the natural splendour of the Konkan region.
The project will finish off the region in the name of development and would destroy mango orchards, bamboo plantations and huge tracts of forests, Thackeray claimed. Hitting out at Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over the setting up of the refinery, Thackeray said that the Centre did not value the CM's word.
Thackeray said that the Centre had given the go-ahead for the project despite Fadnavis promising that the refinery would not be "imposed" upon local residents if they were opposed to it. "The Chief Minister had promised that this project will not be imposed upon people. However, that is what has happened. This is cheating. It indicates that the chief minister's word is not valued by the Centre," Thackeray said in a statement issued here today.
He said that Fadnavis, without fear, should have opposed the project since it "meted out injustice to his people".
A Press Information Bureau release yesterday had stated that a consortium comprising Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, along with Saudi Aramco, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly develop the Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (RRPCL), an integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex, in Maharashtra. The release had added that Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, may also seek to include a strategic partner to co-invest in the project.
Meanwhile, former Congress leader and chief of the newly-formed Maharashtra Swabhimaan Paksh, Narayan Rane, also met Fadnavis to convey his opposition to the refinery project. Rane, currently a Rajya Sabha member, hails from the Konkan region and has been elected to the Legislative Assembly several times from there.
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