Mumbai: Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at the latter's residence here.
Though Pradhan officially said that he called on Thackeray for working together for a “prosperous Maharashtra”, speculation was that the minister tried to placate the Sena chief over the party's opposition to the multi-billion dollar Nanar oil refinery project.
“Met @ShivSena Chief, Shri Uddhav Thackeray and discussed about working together for a more prosperous & developed Maharashtra. Stressed on how Maharashtra can play a stellar role in fulfilling Hon. PM Shri @narendramodi's aim of making India a 5 trillion dollar economy,” tweeted Pradhan after the meeting.
No official reaction came from either side over the meeting. Maharashtra Industries Minister and senior Sena leader Subhash Desai, who was present at Matoshree --the residence of Thackerays--said he had no idea about the discussions held between the two leaders.
“I was not part of the meeting. Pradhan and Uddhavji held a private conversation and I am not aware about its content,” he said. When asked whether the union minister had come to mellow down Sena's opposition to the oil refinery project, Desai refused comment.
While announcing a fresh tie-up with the Sena ahead of the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had agreed to shift the proposed mega oil refinery from Nanar in the ecologically sensitive Konkan region.
State-run oil majors have tied up with Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for the refinery project in Ratnagiri district, which entails an investment of Rs 3 lakh crore.