The Shiv Sena's opposition to the proposed Nanar refinery in the coastal Konkan in Maharashtra is part of a "deal" it has struck with the BJP whose real intention is to shift the project to neighbouring Gujarat, senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil alleged today.
"The protests by the Shiv Sena against the Nanar project are part of a deal with the BJP. The Centre ultimately wants to shift the refinery project to Gujarat. However, since the BJP cannot do so directly, it has roped in the Sena to stage protests.
"The BJP would scrap the project for a while and claim that it was doing so to honour the wish of the people (before shifting it to Gujarat). Both the parties are fooling people," the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly said.
The Rs 3-trillion project envisages setting up of the world's largest oil refinery complex in the ecologically-sensitive Ratnagiri district.
Local farmers and fishermen have been opposing the project on the ground that it would permanently damage the ecology in the region.
Parties like the Shiv Sena, which is a constituent of the BJP-led government, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) have come out strongly against the project.
Vikhe Patil said the loan waiver had failed to cater to the genuine farmers.
"A total of 696 farmers have committed suicide in the state in three months after the waiver was announced. In Umred taluka of Yavatmal district, a farmer recently lit his own pyre and committed suicide. The government had granted the waiver not for the welfare of farmers but for the self promotion in the name of peasants," Vikhe Patil said.
"While campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Narendra Modi had assured that the minimum support price (MSP) of agri commodities would be set with 50% profit margin for farmers. However, after becoming prime mnister, Modi had no time for farmers. This shows the BJP's insensitive attitude towards farmers," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)