Nanar row: Fadnavis hits back at Shiv Sena

Mumbai: Minutes after ally Shiv Sena attacked the proposed Nanar refinery project, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis hit back on Monday.

Taking umbrage at his ministerial colleague Shiv Sena’s Subhash Desai’s assertion that the land acquisition notification of May 18, 2017 for the project has been “cancelled”, Fadnavis retorted by saying that he (Desai) had no authority to do so.

“The said notification has not been cancelled. That authority vests only with the High Power Committee (HPC) which is headed by the Chief Secretary, and not with any minister.

“Whatever decision on this, which is in the interest of the state and Konkan, can only be taken by the HPC after proper discussions at the appropriate time,” Fadnavis said.

He also made it clear that “this (cancellation of notification) was the minister’s (Desai) personal opinion and it was not the view of the government.

“No such proposal has been received by the HPC on this issue and no notification (on Nanar) has been cancelled,” Fadnavis said.

Congress Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil attacked Thackeray for his comments and said the Shiv Sena’s opposition to the Nanar project was “a deal”.

“If you say the CM’s word has no value in Delhi, then why are your ministers still working in the government under him? You have already hit a double-century on the number of times you threatened to quit the government,” Vikhe-Patil said.

Similarly, Nationalist Congress Party’s leader Dhananjay Munde said both the BJP and Sena had betrayed the trust of the people of Konkan and Desai’s statement on cancelling the May 2017 notification was a farce.

The Sena came under fire after its President Uddhav Thackeray said on Monday that the Nanar refinery project would not be allowed to come up in Konkan and challenged the government to shift it to Gujarat or relocate it to Vidarbha.

Nanar village is the site for the proposed Rs 3-trillion world’s biggest integrated oil refinery and petrochemicals complex with a capacity to process 60 million tonne, coming up in collaboration with a Saudi oil company.