File Photo
File Photo

Mumbai : In an absolutely new twist to the protests regarding the Rs 3 lakh crores worth mega petrochemical project at Nanar, it has now come to light that a few rich investors from Mumbai are pressurising the Maharashtra government to go ahead with the project else they will end their lives, since they purchased lands here for profit.

Unlike the poor farmers who usually do not get the market value compensation, 27 rich investors from Mumbai who have been identified, had purchased barren lands in 11 villages near the project site, two years ago. A few powerful politicians are said to be behind these land deals.

Ashok Walam, convenor of Sangharsh Samiti against the Nanar refinery project confirmed the information. “It is true there are 27 people who live in Mumbai and purchased land here, are not farmers. They had purchased land in anticipation of this project through which they will make huge profits,” Walam told Free Press Journal.

This has now put the Sena party on a back-foot. On one hand the party chief Uddhav Thackeray has staunchly opposed the project as farmers will lose their lands. Now, these 27 investors have threatened to end their lives.

A few Sena ministers speaking to Free Press Journal in confidence, cautioned that opposing the project could be a huge a mistake, as it will lead to a catastrophe. “If this project is cancelled then some of the people who have purchased land at the project site have threatened to end their lives,” said the minister.

“These investors purchased land here with the expectation of getting at least Rs 15 lakh per acre, as compensation, which is the current rate offered by the district administration,” said the minister.

As this information came to light, another Sena minister told Free Press Journal, that the majority of party leaders support the stand of their president Uddhav Thackeray. The minister said, “Sena’s stand to oppose the project will help us to regain faith of the people. It has been made clear to us, Uddhavji will ask four of his

ministers to resign from the government.”

He added, “We have been pushed on a backfoot before on few issues. The farmers’ strike, loan waiver and now Nanar project. People are losing faith in our party. Hence, Uddhavji may take this decision to save the image of our party,” said the minister.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has issued a warning to Bharatiya Janata Party-led government stating that the Shiv Sena will not allow the mega refinery project at Nanar in Ratnagiri district. This stand has however divided his party members.

Ashok Walam, convenor of Sangharsh Samiti against refinery project too agreed that Sena may lose four seats of Assembly and a Parliament seat in the upcoming poll if the Sena doe not take a firm stand against the project. Thackeray is expected to return to Mumbai on Sunday from his private tour of Japan and announce his decision.

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Free Press Journal