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Shiv Sena, BJP bypoll fight to hit Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project

Sena supports group that is protesting against land acquisition for ally BJP’s pet project

mumbai Updated: May 19, 2018 13:19 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Ahmedabad,bullet train
A delegation of Bullet Train Virodhak Janmanch, led by activist Ulka Mahajan, met Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and sought support from the party.(REPRESENTATIONAL PHOTO/HT)

The Shiv Sena on Friday extended support to farmers, who are against the land acquisition for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train – Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project. The announcement comes at a time when the Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are locked in a battle against each other for the Palghar Lok Sabha by-election on May 28.

Farmers and tribals from Palghar district have opposed the measurement exercise being carried out by the implementing agency for acquisition of land. The project passes through Dahanu in Palghar district.

This is the second instance where Sena has opposed a mega project backed by the BJP-led government at the Centre. The party has earlier objected to the mega oil refinery proposed at Nanar in Ratnagiri.

Of the total 1,400 hectares to be acquired, 353 hectares are in Maharashtra. So far, National High-Speed Rail Corporation has managed to acquire 0.9 hectares in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) for a station.

A delegation of Bullet Train Virodhak Janmanch, led by activist Ulka Mahajan, met Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and sought support from the party. The committee plans to hold a march against the ₹1.10-lakh crore project in Palghar on June 3.

A senior leader said the Sena has extended support to the morcha. “They invited Uddhavji and sought his support. Uddhavji told them if farmers are against the project, they will certainly support it. In the past, we have supported local residents or farmers opposing infrastructure projects,” said Neelam Gorhe, Sena spokesperson, who was part of the meeting.

Mahajan said the tribal population in the region is protesting against the state’s decision to dilute the role of the gram sabha in infrastructure projects. “The government diluted the law to make it convenient for them to acquire farmers’ and tribals’ land. We briefed Uddhavji on the situation,” Mahajan said.

According to the government notification issued in November 2017, sanction from the gram sabha is no longer required for state’s purchase of tribal-owned land through mutual agreements with owners.

First Published: May 19, 2018 13:10 IST