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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Sena, BJP leaders speak in different voices over CM post, Nanar refinery project

Sena ministers mounted pressure on BJP to scrap the Nanar oil refinery project; no consensus over CM post.

mumbai Updated: Feb 21, 2019 08:27 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and BJP president Amit Shah on Monday, when the alliance was announced.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and BJP president Amit Shah on Monday, when the alliance was announced.(PTI)
         

Two days after the alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena was finalised, top leaders from the two parties spoke in different voices over splitting the chief minister’s post equally. Sena ministers also mounted pressure on CM Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday to scrap the Nanar oil refinery project, which could be a sticking point in the alliance.

Among its demands for the alliance were equal power-sharing if the saffron parties come back to power after the Assembly elections and scrapping the proposed oil refinery project in Nanar, as it is opposed by the locals. Although so far the government has not initiated any process, Fadnavis has promised state industries minister Subhash Desai that the notification to scrap the project will be issued before the model code of conduct comes into force.

Senior BJP leader and state revenue minister Chandrakant Patil said his party feels the post of the CM should go to the party winning more seats. Sena leaders said the alliance agreement happened after an understanding that there would be a chief minister from both the parties for 2.5 years. Senior Sena leader and state environment minister Ramdas Kadam said, “Uddhavji (Thackeray) and Amit Shah discussed the terms and alliance was finalised. We have agreed to split power for 2.5 years each, which includes CM’s post. If Chandrakant Patil does not want it, he should end the alliance. It is wrong of him to make such statements after party chiefs’ decision. If such statements continue, we will have to tell Uddhavji to end the alliance.”

He said the equal split was introduced to prevent horse-trading which has been seen in the past.

To scrap the oil refinery project, the state will now have to denotify the land earmarked for the mega refinery project. Desai, whose department has already moved the proposal for de-notification under the Maharashtra Industrial Development Act 1961, said the BJP leadership is unlikely to backtrack on Nanar now.

“The chief minister has already announced that it will be scrapped. We do not think that there would be any change on it. He will sign it,” Desai said.

The industries department had issued a notification for the project in May 2017, under which around 15,000 acres of agricultural and private land had to be acquired and notified.