Two days after a front-page advertisement espousing the Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd (RRPCL) appeared in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana, state Industries Minister Subhash Desai Monday clarified the party has not changed its stand on the proposed project.
“It was just an advertisement in the newspaper. The Sena’s stand is clear. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is not the one who will change his stand. So, there is no need to spread the misinformation,” Desai said. He added that the project’s notification was cancelled by the state government following a demand from the local residents.
Local residents expressed apprehension about the government’s change of heart on the project after the advertisement appeared on Saamana’s Konkan edition on February 15 enlisting the benefits of the refinery and petrochemicals project.
While Vinayak Raut, Sena MP from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, had allayed fears saying it will not be revived, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who is on a two-day tour of Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri from Monday, has not made any statement in the matter.
The Sena, which has been opposing the project citing adverse environmental impact to the Konkan region, had last year forced the previous Devendra Fadnavis-led government to shelve the project as a precondition for the Sena-BJP alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
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