SHIV SENA president Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday called Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis a “traitor”.
The Sena president’s anger was directed at Fadnavis for not initiating steps to cancel an oil refinery project in Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra’s Konkan region. “It is evident that Fadnavis has emerged spineless. He had assured us that oil refinery will not be thrust on the people against their wishes. But it is now clear that the Centre is thrusting the project on the people without their consent,” Thackeray said in a statement.
“The CM has emerged as a traitor,” he added. While Thackeray is away in Japan, his statement was released by the state party unit. “During our meeting held in the past, Fadnavis had categorically said the project would not be allowed against the wishes of the people. But it seems Centre has not paid heed to chief minister who should have remained adamant and got it cancelled.”
“The Shiv Sena will not allow the oil refinery. In the name of development, the environment of Konkan cannot be destroyed. The oil refinery is hazardous. It would destroy the mangoes and bamboo plantation in region,” he said.
A BJP leader, expressing surprise, said: “In the last meeting, the CM had categorically said the government would never compromise on coastal environment. Moreover, West Coast Refinery was the first biggest green project in Asia.”
The project was being considered, as it would bring more than Rs 1 lakh crore in investment and generate employment to one lakh people. The technical aspects were discussed at the last meeting where Thackeray lead a
delegation of Konkan leaders to meet the CM, the leader added. “The Sena’s outburst was not against the project but its electoral loss at the hands of political rival Narayan Rane in Kankavali in Konkan… Sena always enjoyed upper hand… Now, Rane’s alliance with BJP (NDA) has made it worried. It fears Rane, along with the BJP, would undermine them in Konkan,” the BJP leader said. Another BJP leader added: “Sena is using such language to put pressure on BJP to distance itself from Rane, and help them in Konkan.”