Mumbai: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today called for shifting the proposed oil refinery project from the coastal Ratnagiri district to Vidarbha, saying that the investment-starved eastern Maharashtra needs it more.
Thackeray was speaking to media-persons at his residence ‘Matoshree’ here, after dissident BJP MLA Ashish Deshmukh — who hails from Vidarbha — met him to discuss the project.
“Deshmukh has given me a well-studied proposal. I feel proud of him. It is now clear that Nanar refinery project will not happen at any cost. A picture was being created that this project will be shifted to Gujarat (if it was opposed at Nanar in Ratnagiri). But there are other places in Maharashtra where this project can be shifted,” Thackeray said.
In the past no attempts were made to develop the Vidarbha region, and as the project will generate around one lakh jobs, Vidarbha needs it, Thackeray said.
“The chief minister (Devendra Fadnavis) has assured that the project will not be forced upon people if they do not want it….Laws are for people and not the other way round. We will continue to voice the sentiments of people,” Thackeray said and added he would speak to Fadnavis over the issue.
“Holding Monsoon session (of state legislature) in Vidarbha will do no good,” Thackeray said, referring to a demand by some BJP MLAs.
“Many good decisions can be taken while sitting in Mumbai as well….We will support the CM in holding the session in Nagpur, if he is willing to announce that the refinery project will be shifted to Vidarbha,” Thackeray said.
The Shiv Sena, a partner in the BJP-led state government, has been opposing the oil refinery project at Nanar in coastal Ratnagiri, citing the local people’s opposition and a possible threat to the environment.