MUMBAI: The Congress on Wednesday voiced its opposition to the West Coast refinery project proposed at Nanar in Ratnagiri district. In a public meeting at the proposed project site, state Congress president Ashok Chavan vouched for his party’s support to the locals opposing the project.
“The government is trying to snatch away land from the farmers. This government is worse than the British in suppressing the common people. If the development is there to destroys people’s farms and homes, we condemn such development,” Chavan said while addressing the people from the proposed project site.
Chavan, a former Chief Minister, said his party will oppose the project and will be in solidarity with the locals.
A delegation of locals had met Congress President Rahul Gandhi at Delhi about a couple of days back. Gandhi had assured them that the party will back them. “I’m here as per his instructions,” Chavan told the villagers.
Chavan blamed the Shiv Sena for its double standards over the issue.
“They have opposed the project and their minister said that the notification would be cancelled. Yet, they have not been able to do so. They are sticking to the power despite all kind of public humiliation,” Chavan said.
Chavan also blamed the BJP for acting like middlemen to acquire land and sell it off to Gujarati traders and businessmen.
“The BJP-led government wants to destroy Konkan but the local people will destroy this government,” Chavan added.
Chavan’s rally came barely a week after Shiv Sena’s meeting at Nanar. Narayan Rane, a local leader from Konkan who is trying to cosy up with the BJP after quitting Shiv Sena and the Congress, too has made public his opposition to the project. Yet, the government is pushing the project that promises an inflow of aund Rs 3 lakh crore.
An MoU was recently signed with the Saudi Aramco, who would be developing the project in days to come.