MUMBAI: Shiv Sena MLA Rajan Salvi was arrested on Thursday for violating prohibitory orders at Nanar in Ratnagiri where the world’s largest greenfield refinery project is slated to come up at an investment of about Rs 2 lakh crore. Anti-refinery protests have intensified in the region ahead of Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray’s tour on Monday.
The district administration had imposed prohibitory orders between April 2 and April 16 in light of festivals, increasing protests and the local body elections. On April 14, 2018 the Shiv Sena MLA resorted to protests against the government after a memorandum of understanding was entered between the government and Saudi Aramco, world’s largest oil firm regarding the project.
Salvi along with party workers had burnt effigy of the government after which cases had been registered against 30 people including Panchayat Samiti member, party office bearers and others. Salvi was arrested in the same case today. He might be released on bail by evening, the police said after his arrest.
Saudi Aramco, which controls around 30 per cent of world oil trade, is expected to invest around 50 per cent in the refinery project at Nanar, about 400 km southwards of Mumbai. Shiv Sena, however, has opposed the project saying that it won’t let the project come up at the place till the locals are opposed to it. Shiv Sena’s arch rival and BJP’s newer ally Narayan Rane too has opposed the project. The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) too have opposed the project.
While a delegation of Congress leaders is expected to visit the place on April 19 and 20 to understand what the project affected people have to say, Uddhav Thackeray is scheduled to travel to the place on April 23. NCP chief Sharad Pawar is scheduled to visit the place on May 10.
The state as well as the central government, however, is unfazed by the protests against the project. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had assured the project affected people last month that the project won’t progress unless all the issues raised by the locals are addressed satisfactorily.