Subhash Desai threatens to quit Devendra Fadnavis cabinet

Mar 08, 2018, 11:37 IST | Dharmendra Jore

Sena minister says he will stand with the locals of Nanar village in opposing the state govt's ambitious project

Subhash Desai
Subhash Desai

The contentious issue of the proposed chemical refinery in Nanar village near Rajapur in coastal Konkan has escalated into a major tussle between the BJP and Shiv Sena.

Industries Minister Subhash Desai (Sena) has now threatened to quit the Devendra Fadnavis cabinet if land for the project was acquired against the wishes of the local people. Desai told the upper house on Thursday that the locals have been opposing the project ever since it was conceptualised last year. He said the acquisition has been stopped in view of the people's opposition and 'it would be difficult to acquire any land as not only the locals, but the Sena, too, opposed the project'.

Knowing that the BJP governments at the Centre and state were hell-bent on seeing the project through at any cost, he said if need be, he would quit and stand in support of the locals.

“Instead of supporting a forced land acquisition, I will support the people,” he said in response to a question on what if the project was stalled. This is the second major project in the Konkan that is being opposed by the Sena. Firstly, the party rejected the idea of a nuclear energy plant in Jaitapur. A significant area had been acquired for it, but the project has been delayed. The Rajapur chemical refinery was proposed in order to create more jobs and bring in economic prosperity in the backward region.

However, a month ago, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray led a delegation of locals to the CM, carrying along reams of protest letters from the locals. As a result of Thackeray's move, the government delayed signing of the memorandum of understanding with promoters at the Magnetic Maharashtra conclave recently.

Now, a Sena minister has sounded the bugle against the BJP. The issue is being seen as an attempt to woo voters in the Konkan, which is a Sena stronghold.

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